The Instigator
empiresigns
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
J.Kenyon
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points

The GOD debate

Do you like this debate?NoYes+5
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
J.Kenyon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,794 times Debate No: 14928
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (17)
Votes (2)

 

empiresigns

Con

It is my assertion that God or any other supernatural being does not exist simple due to the inability to prove or disprove existents.

If 100 people are placed in a room, and 99 of those people say they believe in Santa and one person says they do not, does that make the 99 people right? Better yet, what if those same people were born in that room having never learned of Santa, if not Santa, then what?

One can not know what can not be shown. Because we not yet have an answer for what it is we do not know does not suppose the supernatural. Therefore, one can believe something exist even with a lack of evidence but one can not know something exists without evidence.
J.Kenyon

Pro

Thanks, Con, for instigating. Note that I myself am an atheist -- I agree with Con's conclusions, but for different reasons. His argument is seriously flawed on several counts.

1. Con is guilty of an argument from ignorance

Con's asserts that because we can't prove or disprove the existence of God, we must assume that he does not exist. Clearly, this statement is self contradictory. If we can't prove or disprove the existence of God, we are left with agnosticism, not atheism. Con himself admits in the comments that "just because one may be ignorant to something does not suppose it's existence or nonexistence."

2. Logical positivism is inherently flawed

Logical positivism is the thesis that propositions can only have meaning and belief can only be justified if there is some way to empirically verify them. However, this notion is logically incoherent: such a proposition fails its own litmus test. There is no way to prove empirically that empiricism is a sound epistemological stance! Any attempt to do so would have to be self-referential.

Moreover, such radical skepticism goes completely against our everyday intuitions. It's impossible to scientifically prove the existence of other minds. David Chalmers famously pointed out that other people may be "philosophical zombies" with absent qualia. There is no way to empirically verify the existence of history, the existence of an external world, or the reliability of one's memory without arguing in a circle.

3. Belief in God could be considered properly basic

There are three basic approaches to tackling the problem of radical skepticism: coherentism, infinitism, and foundationalism.[1] I'll be defending foundationalism, which holds that in order for knowledge to be possible, our inferences must ultimately rest on certain basic beliefs that cannot themselves be proven, but are accepted as self-evident. Foundational beliefs require warrant, which separates knowledge from mere true belief. For example, on a multiple choice test, I may guess from several options that Sacramento is the capitol of California. I may also believe that my answer is true, but such belief does not have proper warrant inasmuch as guessing is not a sound epistemic means of attaining knowledge.

Reformed epistemology is an externalist form of reliabilism that holds beliefs have warrant just in case they are produced by properly functioning cognitive faculties.[2] We know that on naturalism, unguided evolution shaped our brains *not* for the purpose of producing true beliefs, but as a mere tool to aid survival and reproduction. By contrast, on theism there is good reason to think that our minds *were* designed to produce sound understanding. Moreover, the most people take the existence of God as self-evident. Thus, *if* Christianity is true, it probably has warrant even in absence of a good argument or conclusive evidence. Note that this isn't an argument for the existence of God, but a defense of the inherent rationality and plausibility of Christian belief.

Conclusion:

Con contradicted himself right off the bat. Moreover, his epistemological view lacks internal consistency and leads to absurd conclusions. Therefore, my alternative, foundationalism, should be preferred.

References:

1. http://www.iep.utm.edu...
2. http://www.iep.utm.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
empiresigns

Con

Thank you for that well thought out rebuttal. I would simply state that even if we use the most basic logic used by every court in the USA, one must provide some tangible proof. The old argument still works in this case. If I say I believe there are unicorns, I need no tangible proof. However, if I state that I know there are unicorns and moreover I expect you believe me just because I say I know, you would require proof. My believing or even knowing carries no weight without tangible proof of which for god there is none.

So, even in the absence of knowledge does not imply existence. My not knowing about Godzilla does not mean Godzilla exists. The knowing that godzilla exists in conscious thought does not mean Godzilla exists in reality.

However, I will concede one thing based on my own opening statement. No more than one can know god exists without evidence, I can not know he does exist without evidence. I would simply say do to the fact that no evidence can be shown for the evidence for the supernatural, more than likely the supernatural, or god, does not exist.

In childish closing, I believe in the mythology of unicorns, but I do not believe in the reality in unicorns.

Thank you!
J.Kenyon

Pro

Con has failed to respond to contentions 2 & 3. Extend these arguments. Additionally, he continues to contradict himself, stating "I can not know that [God] does [not] exist without evidence."

I think Con misunderstands my position, and the position of many theists. I'm not claiming, as he seems to think, that because we can't prove that Godzilla and unicorns don't exist, it must be the case that they do exist. Heck, I'm an atheist. I'm just pointing out that lack of evidence for either side is just that: lack of evidence for either side. In other words, agnosticism.

Con argues that by employing the same evidential standards as the US court system, we can't demonstrate God's existence. However, the court system intentionally places a heavy burden of proof on the plaintiff to avoid punishing innocent persons. It's not enough for the balance of the evidence to merely suggest that the defendant is probably guilty, this must be demonstrated conclusively. This standard is not regularly employed in philosophy or the natural sciences, nor should it be used in this debate for the reasons I outlined in the first round.

As instigator, Con has the burden to proof. Since he hasn't made a single argument against the existence of God, and by his own admission can't disprove God's existence, he's failed to uphold his end and the debate should go Pro by default.
Debate Round No. 2
empiresigns

Con

Thank You Once Again.

Proof. As with God, proof for the existence of god does not exist. Most people of belief would say that the proof is the fact that we are here. I would say that that only proves you had parents and so on. To say that one must assume that basic fundamental things must be taken as fact and go from there is to say that God is a fact and lets start from there. Thus, what would be the point of the debate? Everything has a point at which it starts and ends. Everything comes from something. To assume that something started our very beginning, God, just because we yet have an answer for what that beginning is, is not an answer based in fact or proof. So, my proof is the sheer lack of proof. The bottom line is, the more science learns and proves the further from God we find ourselves.

More to to the point. If we were to look at the proof at hand, everything would point to the fact that man in great science fiction imagined god and made god in his own image more so rather than the other way around.

In closing this round, the argument should be based strictly in proof or lack of rather than your or my why or why not.

Final thought, I tell you I tied and untied my shoe, I may not be able to prove that in that moment in time I did tie my shoe. You say prove you tied your shoe. Over the next several minutes I repeat the action, you would believe that more than likely I did indeed tie my shoe based on the fact that I continue to do so. However, if I was unable to tie my shoe ever, then you would believe that more than likely I did not tie my shoe in the first place. A better example based on what we know to be fact. If I told you I flapped my arms and could fly, You would know without asking for proof that that is not possible based on the fact that no human in the recorded past or any human you know in the present could do so. So, if you said really, do it again, and I could not, you would not only believe, but you would know I had not in the first place and that more than likely I was delusional.

Thank You for reading my layman view! lol
J.Kenyon

Pro

Again, Con has not addressed contentions 2 & 3. Extend these points. Con is basically just repeating himself at this point. All of his analogies are of a similar nature. The simple fact of the matter is this: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I don't have to prove that God does exist, nor do I even believe that God exists. The burden of proof lies on the instigator to demonstrate his claim, and Con's arguments have been woefully inadequate.
Debate Round No. 3
empiresigns

Con

I find it very hard to debate someone who agrees with me on the hole. Please read my post more carefully and you will find I did address you 2nd and 3rd point in my post overal. I have also given examples as to proof as the why there is no god using layman examples. I am sorry I am not a formal debater, however my points have been made very clearly.

I challenge you to review those points and rrbutle them accordingly.

Thank you.
J.Kenyon

Pro

Con's "layman examples" are flawed, for the reasons I've already pointed out. The verification principle is self contradictory. Moreover, you can't logically or empirically demonstrate the existence of history or the existence of other minds. I've argued that belief in God can be considered properly basic. That is, much like history and other minds, it is reasonable to believe in God even without a good argument or evidence.

Absence of evidence for X only counts against the existence of X if you would expect find more evidence for X if X actually exists. In order to win on the merits of his "absence of evidence" argument, Con will have to make a compelling case that we should expect to find more evidence of God's existence. Until then, the debate goes to Pro by default.
Debate Round No. 4
empiresigns

Con

empiresigns forfeited this round.
J.Kenyon

Pro

Extend my arguments. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Greyparrot 5 years ago
Greyparrot
I'm so confused about burden of proof being there is no proof for... what?
Posted by maninorange 5 years ago
maninorange
Wow... deadlocked by round 2. Nice.
Posted by popculturepooka 5 years ago
popculturepooka
Sieben:

"MAGEE: Now logical positivism must have had actually some real defects. What do you now in retrospect think the main shortcomings of the movement were.

AYER: I suppose the greatest defect...is that nearly all of it was false. (hearty laughter from the two of them)

MAGEE: I think you need to say a little more about that.

AYER: Perhaps that's being too harsh on it. I still want to say that it was true in spirit in a way, that the attitude was right. But if one goes for the details, first of all the verification principle never got itself properly formulated. I tried several times and it always let in either too little or too much, and to this day it hasn't received a properly logically precise formulation. Then, the reductionism just doesn't work. You can't reduce statements, even ordinary simple statements about cigarette cases and glasses and ashtrays, to statements about sense data, let alone more abstract statements of science...If you go in detail very, very little survives. What survives is the general rightness of the approach."
Posted by J.Kenyon 5 years ago
J.Kenyon
To be honest, I'm not too familiar with the details because, like I said, everything I've read says logical positivism is ancient history. Also, Quine makes my brain hurt: http://www.ditext.com...
Posted by Sieben 5 years ago
Sieben
Details?
Posted by J.Kenyon 5 years ago
J.Kenyon
No, positivism is retarded. It's still retarded. Ayer is new-er than Russell and company, but even his revisions are ancient history. W.V.O. Quine shredded positivism into a million tiny pieces and set them on fire. Then Alvin Plantinga pissed on the ashes just to be jerk.
Posted by Sieben 5 years ago
Sieben
I hope you know that the newer logical positivists - ayer and all that - don't fail their own test. Verificationism is the view that a statement or question only has meaning if there is some way to determine if the statement is true, or what the answer to the question is."

You're right that empiricism alone is rather silly, but the above verification principle allows and even requires us to make a rational check on the statement. So 2+2=4 is verifiable because we can just check the rules of mathematics. There is a cat on the dark side of the moon is verifiable because in principle we could just go look. The verification criterion is verifiable because it just asserts that there's a precondition of coherence to meaningful propositions.

God is totally unverifiable because Pro can't give you the conditions under which his existence would be true/false.
Posted by empiresigns 5 years ago
empiresigns
Just because one may be ignorant to something does not suppose it's existence or nonexistence. No different than having knowledge of something supposes existence. I can have knowledge in the belief in god but not believe god exists.
Posted by J.Kenyon 5 years ago
J.Kenyon
Hey it worked for the logical positivists!

...oh wait, no it didn't. That's why there aren't any logical positivists around today. None that are taken seriously, at least.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
You are really making an argument from ignorance fallacy as your argument?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Freeman 5 years ago
Freeman
empiresignsJ.KenyonTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's lack of rational arguments and his forfeit make this a clear victory for pro. He did not show, for instance, why we should expect to see more evidence for the existence of God if God actually exists.
Vote Placed by m93samman 5 years ago
m93samman
empiresignsJ.KenyonTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: There was no debate here.