The Instigator
Freeman
Con (against)
Winning
107 Points
The Contender
mongeese
Pro (for)
Losing
82 Points

The God of Christianity is probably real.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/16/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,932 times Debate No: 9502
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (82)
Votes (33)

 

Freeman

Con

I have made it my goal in this debate to demolish the intellectual and moral pretenses of the Christian religion. Of course this demolition will have to take a back seat to the resolution that awaits us. I consider Christianity to be a wicked, depraved, and intellectually bankrupt cult that consistently perpetuates blatant falsehoods and is responsible for outrageous amounts of needles suffering- even whilst it maintains an air of superciliousness. Two thousand years is far too long far any illusion to be sheltered from the light of reason. The time of its destruction is before us. My antagonist will simply be arguing in favor of the existence of the God of Christian theism, no more and no less.

========
Contention 1: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
========

Whatever can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. Or as Carl Sagan famously put it "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Without extraordinary evidence that God exists we can reasonably say that claiming to know that God exists is an unsupported and unsupportable claim to knowledge.

========
Contention 2: Christian theology is unsupported by evidence.
========

Sam Harris did a good job of surmising the main thesis of Christianity's salvation scheme so allow me to paraphrase what he wrote.

Jesus Christ, a carpenter by trade, was born by parthenogenesis, ritually murdered upon a cross for the collective sins of his species, and then promptly resurrected after an interval of three days. Afterwards he ascended bodily to "heaven" where for two millennia he has watched over the Earth in anticipation of his imminent return, at which time he will judge humanity for its skeptical doubts and grant immortality to those that had the good fortune to be convinced, upon mother's knee, that this baffling litany of miracles was the most important series of truth claims ever revealed about our cosmos. [1]-[2] Of course Jesus hasn't completely left humanity out to dry after his untimely departure from this Earth. If you manage to telepathically tell this invisible carpenter/ zombie/ deity that you will forever be his servant in loving worship then you will get bliss in the afterlife. He has also availed himself to be conveniently eaten in the form of a cracker to remind you of how unworthy and wretched you are. This would also technically constitute cannibalism if you are a believing Catholic. Is there any doubt that if only a single person were to believe this he would be considered mad?

========
Contention 3: Hearsay is insufficient evidence to validate the truth of miracles.
========

The main quandary with arguing for the truth of religion, and Christianity in particular, is that the evidence for our religious doctrines is either terrible or non-existent. Christianity is predicated upon the reliability of the miracle stories of Jesus laid out in the New Testament. This is why people believe that Jesus is the son of God, divine, etc. These textual claims are problematic for a number of reasons. As many of you are probably already aware the earliest Gospels were not written until some four decades after Jesus was supposedly crucified. [3] On top of this there are no extra biblical accounts of the miracles of Jesus. But the truth is actually quite a bit worse than that. Even if we had multiple contemporaneous eye witness accounts of the miracles of Jesus that would still not provide a sufficient basis to believe that these events actually occurred.

The problem is that first hand accounts of miracles are quite common even in the 21st century. There are literally millions of educated westerners who think that their favorite guru has magic powers. The powers ascribed to these gurus are every bit as outlandish as those that were given to Jesus. Millions of people believe that Sathya sai baba, the south Indian guru, is a living god. He has been claimed, by his followers, to have raised the dead, materialize objects and he even claims to have been born of a virgin- which isn't all that unique in the history of religion or in history generally. [4] If you're curious enough you can even watch some of his miracles on youtube. Sathya sai baba's miracles probably wouldn't even impress most children that weren't otherwise indoctrinated into his tawdry cult. So why, dear Christian, don't you treat the miracle stories of Jesus with the same skepticism?

========
Contention 4: Religion is the language of ignorance
========

Religion had the unfortunate advantage of being our first form of Philosophy. Full credit to religion for attempting this, some one had to try after all. But because it was our first it was our worst. Such is the case with virtually all other human endeavors. Ten thousand years ago we didn't know why the tides came in and out, why the sun rose, why people die, where we came from. God seemed to be a perfectly reasonable explanation for that time. We now have better explanations both for the origins of our species and for the origins of our cosmos; so much better that had they been available to us ten thousand years ago religion never would have taken root. [5]-[6] No one would now go back to a time when we had no real philosophy; when we thought that the Earth was flat and that it orbited the Sun. Religion comes to us, in other words, from the infancy of our species. It comes to us from a time when we didn't know that there were microorganisms that caused disease. Theology was the branch of ignorance that came to us from a time when all causal relationships about the world were opaque and when we didn't know a damn thing. Therefore it is not surprising that our curious and bemused ancestors would have endorsed various supernatural explanations for various natural phenomena; they didn't know any better.

========
Conclusion
========

The fact that I could write this essay and sleep peacefully at night should be a sign to you of how unfounded I think your religious certainties are. I am not convinced by any of the patently absurd miracle stories of Christianity or any of the shoddy philosophical arguments that have been used to support them, and I don't think you should be either. On the other hand I am convinced by the evidence which shows that Christians are part of a pathological subculture that has been groomed to not look critically upon its own discourse. This entire game is zero sum, dear Christian; one of us will have to concede after having admitted to intellectual and moral defeat.

Best,
Freeman

Sources:

[1]http://www.reasonproject.org...

[2] Read any of the four Gospels: Mathew, Mark, Luke, or John

[3]http://wiki.answers.com...

[4]http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5]http://evolution.berkeley.edu......

[6]http://www.talkorigins.org...

Definitions:

God - the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions.

Real- being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verified existence; not illusory.

Christianity (from the Greek word Khristos, "Christ", literally "anointed one") is a monotheisticreligion[1] centered on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in the New Testament.[2] The Christian faith is essentially faith in Jesus as the Christ (or Messiah), the Son of God, the Savior, the manifestation of God to humankind (Immanuel), and God (Yahweh or the "Lord") himself.
-------------------http://en.wikipedia.org...------------------------

No semantics please, that wouldn't be very Christian. ;p
mongeese

Pro

Thank you, Freeman, for starting this debate.

First, a proof that God exists:
1. It is impossible to count from negative infinity to a definite number. (Given.)
2. If the universe existed indefinitely, the universe would never reach "now." (2)
3. The universe has reached "now." (Given)
4. The universe did not exist indefinitely. (2 + 3)
5. The universe existed definitely. (4)
6. The universe had a definite starting point. (5)
7. No natural event could have occurred within the universe before this starting point. (6)
8. All natural events are caused as a direct result of the preceding event. (Given)
9. The event that created the universe must have been supernatural. (7, 8)
10. There was no event preceding the creation of the universe. (6)
11. The supernatural event that created the universe could not have been the result of determinism. (10, [1])
12. The supernatural event that created the universe was the result of a free choice. (11)
13. The supernatural event was started by a supernatural being with free choice. (12)
14. A supernatural being created the universe. (9, 13)
15. That supernatural being is conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe. ([2])
16. That supernatural being is the object of worship in monotheistic religions. ([2])
17. That supernatural being is God. (Established definition of God)

Now, to respond to individual contentions:

1. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
a. See the proof above.
b. With the resolution being "probably," this situation would actually depend on whoever claims the extraordinary. For example, if George Washington, or any other person who is known by everyone as trustworthy, honest, and of good moral character, claimed that they just hit a hole in one in golf, they'd probably be telling the truth. However, if the propagandist Adolf Hitler, or any other person known for being a deceitful liar, claimed the same thing, they'd probably be lying. This hole-in-one example can be extended to other events, like alien abduction, or witnessing Christ. Therefore, this contention by itself cannot negate the resolution at all, seeing as many, many trustworthy people of high moral standard make this claim.

2. Christian theology is unsupported by evidence.

This paragraph paraphrased from Sam Harris does not even support the idea of the contention. Furthermore, Jesus' Wikipedia page mentions nothing about any crackers whatsoever. Additionally, anything that only a single person believes in would make that person seem mad. If only one person believed that the universe exploded into existence from a single point from nothingness, would he not also seem mad?

3. Hearsay is insufficient evidence to validate the truth of miracles.

For one thing, the guy that answered the Wiki Answers question that you cited just so happened to have ended his answer with a paragraph stating that he actually thinks that the Gospels were written in the "late 30s or early 40s" [3]. For another, this contention doesn't actually have any bearing whatsoever on the resolution, "The God of Christianity is probably real."

4. Religion is the language of ignorance.

My opponent's main argument, that religion was conceived by humans before much was known about the world, and therefore ignorant, is a fallacy [4], counter-examples including "paper, fire, the wheel..." Furthermore, this debate isn't about whether or not Christianity is correct. It's about whether or not the God of Christianity is real.

In conclusion, my opponent's four contentions actually do nothing to show that God probably doesn't exist, and are mostly irrelevant to the resolution at hand. Additionally, I have a logical proof that proves that God exists. The resolution is affirmed.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://wiki.answers.com...
4. http://www.debate.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Freeman

Con

Let me begin by thanking mongeese for accepting my challenge.

===============
A proof that God exists: Rebuttal
===============

Even if I were to grant the primary claims of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, or the hybrid of it my opponent has used, the conclusion would not follow. Who is to say that the only thing that can give rise to space and time is a supreme being? And even if I were to go so far as to say that the universe had to be designed by an intelligent agent it would not follow that this agent was the Biblical God or that it approved of Christianity.

The truth of the matter is that no one knows why or how the universe came into being. Nor do we know why something would exist rather than nothing. Scientists and other rational people usually admit their ignorance on this issue; religious people do not. It isn't even clear that we can speak coherently about the creation of the universe because we can only comprehend events with regards to time. My opponent's concepts of common sense are no more valid in his argument with regards to the origins of the universe than they would be if they were applied to Quantum theory. [1] We are too early in our study of cosmology to verify any of the outlandish claims my opponent has put forth.

======
Case Pro- Rebuttals
======

========
Contention 1: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
========

My opponent has demonstrated nothing more than his own credulity and willingness to believe in virtually anything. The only thing that can verify supernatural phenomena is evidence, lots and lots of evidence. The odds that people will be untruthful are always greater than the odds that the laws of nature have been suspended. Mongeese, do you believe everything your parents tell you? And what would you think of your mother if she told you that she flew to Jerusalem on a winged hoarse last weekend? These claims have also been attributed to the prophet Mohammed and are believed by literally millions of Muslims that have faith in his trustworthiness. [2] My opponent doesn't make it explicit, but he alludes to what is commonly known as the argument from authority, which is a logical fallacy. [3] The fact that someone may be perceived to be "trustworthy' is not sufficient evidence to establish the truth of miracles.

David Hume has written eloquently on the subject of miracles and what follows bellow is a brief summary of his views on miracles taken from his book, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.

========
David Hume: The problem of miracles
========

1. People often lie, and they have good reasons to lie about miracles occurring either because they believe they are doing so for the benefit of their religion or because of the fame that results.

2. People by nature enjoy relating miracles they have heard without caring for their veracity and thus miracles are easily transmitted even where false.

3. Hume notes that miracles seem to occur mostly in "ignorant" and "barbarous" nations and times, and the reason they don't occur in the "civilized" societies is such societies aren't awed by what they know to be natural events.

4. The miracles of each religion argue against all other religions and their miracles, and so even if a proportion of all reported miracles across the world fit Hume's requirement for belief, the miracles of each religion make the other less likely. [4]-[5]

========
Contention 2: Christian theology is unsupported by evidence.
========

"If only one person believed that the universe exploded into existence from a single point from nothingness, would he not also seem mad?" - mongeese

They wouldn't seem mad if they were born in the 20th century because the evidence for such an occurrence is simply overwhelming. Where is the evidence for any of the miracles that Christianity is founded upon?

Secondly, Christians seem mad because the core of their belief system is so at odds with modern science. The notion that Jesus had no paternal father is a key doctrine in Christianity and it is also a claim about biology. The claim that Jesus after being raised from the dead arose bodily into heaven is another key dogma in the Christian religion that once again overtly trespasses upon the territory of science. This story involves a variety of claims about history, the human survival of death, and apparently the mechanics of flight without the aid of technology. Indeed if a reconciliation between science and Christian theism were to take place it would mean that we would have to square the laws of biology, chemistry, physics, history and a basic understanding of probabilistic reasoning with a torrent of iron age convictions.

========
Contention 3: Hearsay is insufficient evidence to validate the truth of miracles.
========

Consider the foundational claim of Christianity as though for the first time. The claim is this: that miracle stories like those that now surround many schizophrenics, lunatics, con artists, and charlatans like Joseph Smith are especially compelling when you put them inside ancient texts from the prescientific religious milieu of the first century Roman Empire decades after they had supposedly occurred. Ask yourself which is more probable; that the laws of nature have been suspended, in your favor no less, or that you are mistaken.

========
Contention 4: Religion is the language of ignorance.
========

My opponent seems to be hinting at his desire to shift the burden of proof but he hasn't done this quite yet so I won't fault him for it. He seems to want evidence from me that the Christian God is indeed fictitious. Is this a reasonable demand? Not really. As many students of philosophy will know Bertrand Russell closed the door to this line of thinking for all time with his famous celestial teapot argument. [6] Can any of us prove that there is not a celestial teapot in elliptical orbit around the sun at this moment? No. Does this make it reasonable to believe in the existence of such a teapot? No. Is it reasonable to be agnostic about the existence of such a teapot? Not quite. (Argument Over) It should be obvious that the burden is not upon the atheist to disprove the existence of celestial teapots.

=========
Conclusion
=========

Even if I were go so far as to grant that my opponent's argument for the existence of God was valid he would still have all of his work ahead of him. How to do you go from a creator god to a God that can answer prayers, forgive sins, perform miracles, and takes a special interest in human affairs? To say that my antagonist has failed at this would be an understatement. Aquinas couldn't fill this gap and neither can my opponent.

All the best,
Freeman

=======
Sources
=======

[1] http://www.thebigview.com...

[2] http://www.allaboutturkey.com......

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] Hume, D (1748), 'Of miracles‘, in Enquiry concerning human understanding, LA Selby-Bigge (ed.), 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, (1902), Section X, pp.116-122.

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[6] http://www.philosophyblog.com.au...
mongeese

Pro

Thank you for responding.

Now, one may have noticed that my opponent doesn't actually raise any arguments against any statement made in my proof, which is really the only way to show a proof to be incorrect. Therefore, he has actually conceded that my proof is true, and therefore, God exists. This affirms the resolution, because that God is the God of Christianity. That God is also the God of Judaism and Islam, but that's really irrelevant to this debate.

"Who is to say that the only thing that can give rise to space and time is a supreme being?"
Obviously, my opponent did not see that I have a proof that fairly clearly outlines why God must have been the answer. He would have to raise an argument against a specific step in the proof to declare it invalid as a whole, and since he has not done so, he has dropped my proof.

"And even if I were to go so far as to say that the universe had to be designed by an intelligent agent it would not follow that this agent was the Biblical God or that it approved of Christianity."
Neither of those are actually requirements for the resolution to be affirmed. All I needed to do was show that God is a supernatural being (Step 14), is conceived as perfect, omnipotent, and omniscient (15), and is the object of worship in monotheistic religions (16). Nowhere in this debate is it said that the God of Christian theism is exactly what Christians conceive Him to be. The only definition we have requires only the above three to be true. The addition of "of Christianity" to the resolution only requires that this be the God referred to by Christians. Which He is.

"The truth of the matter is that no one knows why or how the universe came into being."
Well, I just wrote up a pretty nice proof on the matter. Maybe it would serve my opponent well to read it.

"My opponent's concepts of common sense are no more valid in his argument with regards to the origins of the universe than they would be if they were applied to Quantum theory."
I don't see the actual relevance of Quantum theory to this debate. Furthermore, my proof is perfectly valid. My opponent gives no reason to believe otherwise. My proof was designed to prove the existence of God, not the validity of Quantum theory.

"We are too early in our study of cosmology to verify any of the outlandish claims my opponent has put forth."
My opponent calls my claims "outlandish" without identifying which claims are outlandish, or why.

"My opponent has demonstrated nothing more than his own credulity and willingness to believe in virtually anything."
Wrong. It is just that if a claim is made, the more trustworthy the person who claims the claim is true is, the more likely the claim is to be true. Since the resolution is based on probability, and not certainty, my statements are valid.

"The odds that people will be untruthful are always greater than the odds that the laws of nature have been suspended."
And you say that this must be so because...?
If a person who you trusted all your life and never lied to you suddenly told you that he saw Jesus perform an actual miracle, and then continued to go on with his life as normal, but still believing what he saw, might what he says be true? Would it be more likely to be true than if a random hobo told you the same thing? If you answered "yes" to both of those, it puts us in a predicament, as we can't actually assign any odds to a random "maybe," with only the knowledge that one "maybe" is more likely than another "maybe."

"And what would you think of your mother if she told you that she flew to Jerusalem on a winged hoarse last weekend?"
Well, how can a hoarse be winged?
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
"Hoarse" is an adjective, and therefore cannot be affected by another adjective, "winged."
Therefore, I would obviously dismiss the statement as false.

"The fact that someone may be perceived to be 'trustworthy' is not sufficient evidence to establish the truth of miracles."
Thing is, I don't even need to establish the truth of miracles.

Now, as for the problem with miracles, it isn't even entirely relevant to the debate. It neither assists in negating the resolution nor prevents me from affirming the resolution. Why are we wasting time talking about miracles, again? I'm starting to think that it's just so that my opponent can seem to have more sources, as one of his sources [2] is just a page about Turkey, and another is just a completely irrelevant page about Quantum theory.

Although, #4 claims that religions constantly contradict each other when it comes to miracles. However, many major religions, not just Christianity, agree that Jesus did have the power to perform miracles.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Indeed if a reconciliation between science and Christian theism were to take place it would mean that we would have to square the laws of biology, chemistry, physics, history and a basic understanding of probabilistic reasoning with a torrent of iron age convictions."
Actually, we'd just have to realize one simple fact: the supernatural has power over the natural. That's all.

"Ask yourself which is more probable; that the laws of nature have been suspended, in your favor no less, or that you are mistaken."
Well, given my proof, the laws of nature can indeed be suspended, because there is a supernatural being with power over nature. So, obviously, I am not mistaken.

"It should be obvious that the burden is not upon the atheist to disprove the existence of celestial teapots."
However, the burden is upon the atheist to show why a proof in favor of God is invalid. This is a burden that you have yet to meet.

Now, the second-most-relevant part of my opponent's argument, after the short and unsuccessful attack on my proof, is his conclusion, in which he claims that although I have proven that God must exist, I must still show that God "can answer prayers, forgive sins, perform miracles, and take a special interest in human affairs." However, I actually don't have to do this. My job, as stated by my opponent, is "arguing in favor of the existence of the God of Christian theism, no more and no less."

Now, the God of Christian theism is also the God of Judean theism and the God of Islamic theism. He's the same God; each culture just has a different conception of what He actually does, and what His characteristics are. Even if I don't prove that God answers prayers and such, God is still worshipped by Christians, and revered by Christians. He is "the object of worship in monotheistic religions," which is in the established definition of "God." Therefore, He is the God of Christianity (and Judaism and Islam), even if He can't be proven to have every characteristic that Christians deem Him to have. Otherwise, He would not be able to be the God of multiple religions (which he clearly is), because different religions have such different interpretations of Him, and different sects of Christianity have different interpretations of Him. Therefore, the God of Christianity, the God of Christian theism, is God, plain and simple. This means that my logical proof is indeed a proof for the God of Christianity. The resolution was affirmed last round.

I look forward to the next round, Freeman. I would just like to note that when I typed up my proof, I had prepared to have two different chances to rewrite it (one for this round and one for the next), so you're going to have to do some extra work in rebutting my proof to make up for the round in which you ignored it.

That will be all for now.
Debate Round No. 2
Freeman

Con

Let me first begin by thanking Mongeese for his willingness to debate with me on this issue. It has been a great pleasure to correspond with you.

I have already demonstrated that hearsay can't establish the truth of miracles, so there is not much else that I could say on the matter, at least for now. For the rest of my essay I will try to focus on dissecting your "proof" for the existence of God. Despite what you may imagine I have never conceded that your argument for Gods existence was valid. And contrary to what you may believe I didn't ignore your "proof" of Gods existence in my second round. I simply stated that even if the premises were valid the conclusions would not follow.

=======
Case Pro- Rebuttals
=======

Your argument fails for four reasons:

1. The premises of the argument have not been verified therefore the conclusions don't logically follow.

2. If your cosmological argument were valid it wouldn't follow that the "first cause" was a "God".

3. If we could establish that the first cause was a supernatural "being", it would only verify a deistic "god" at best.

4. Even If I went completely insane and granted, for the purpose of the argument, that a personal God existed it wouldn't follow that this entity was, "The God of Christianity".

=========
Contention 1: The premises of your cosmological argument aren't valid.
=========

You are using common sense where it has never been tested before in areas like cosmology and particle physics. If I were to have told you 100 years ago that light is both a particle and a wave you probably wouldn't have believed me. But, as it turns out, light is both a particle and a wave despite the intuitions that led people to conclude otherwise. [1] I brought up Quantum theory in my last round to show you that many truths about our world are deeply counterintuitive. It isn't intuitive that a single particle can exist in two different places simultaneously and yet we know from experimentation that this can occur. [2] Every aspect of our common sense and logic wouldn't have led us to this conclusion. My point in this is, of course, to show you that the intuitions you may harbor about causality may very well be erroneous especially considering how early we are in our study of cosmology. I find it unlikely that your "proof" for the existence of God is going to look impressive to physicists 100 years from now when we eventually discover a grand unified theory to link Newtonian physics with Einsteinian relativity and Quantum mechanics. [3]

A syllogism is only valid if all of the premises used to support it are structurally valid and sound. [4] If there is an error anywhere in the chain leading up to the conclusion then the argument isn't legitimate. Now, lets take a closer look at your premises.

8. "All natural events are caused as a direct result of the preceding event." (Maybe- Maybe not)

9. "The event that created the universe must have been supernatural." -The addition of magical forces isn't going to help us here.

10. "There was no event preceding the creation of the universe." (We don't know that) [5]-[6]

11. "The supernatural event that created the universe could not have been the result of determinism." (It's too early for you to say that.)

Points 15- 17 are non-sequiturs that wouldn't follow even if the first 14 premises were true. I missed the stage where you "proved" that this supernatural being was "perfect and omnipotent and omniscient". -(Explain yourself)

========
Contention 2: The "first cause" isn't necessarily a "God".
========

If we were to postulate that there must be an intelligent first cause for the universe then our cosmos could be running as a simulation on a supercomputer. Before you object let me make it clear that this computer is very special. It transcends space-time and maintains its existence without any physical parts. However improbable and counterintuitive this scenario may be it is no less improbable and counterintuitive than the existence of a supernatural being with a mind. The only process we know of that can give rise to complex organisms like a person with a mind is evolution through natural selection. And to say that God is by definition uncreated simply begs the question. There are, of course, other possibilities that you have not considered. The creation of our universe may be entirely compatible with big bang cosmology and quantum mechanics without the need to evoke supernatural forces. -(Read Quentin Smith) [7]

========
Contention 3: Deism Vs. Theism
========

Even if I were to grant that the universe needed an intelligent designer then we would only be left with a deistic god at best. [8] There is simply no way to reconcile Christian theism, which involves claims about the Divinity of Jesus, with the concept of a deistic God. To his credit, William Lane Craig attempts to bridge the gap between deism and Christian theism by arguing in favor of the resurrection of Jesus. [9] You on the other hand, skip straight from deism to Christian theism and you do it on the basis of a shoddy argument based on highly contentious premises.

========
Contention 4: Yahweh is one God among many.
========

Let us suppose that there was an architect behind the universe that took a special interest in human affairs. Even if this were our situation this would not vindicate any religion. Indeed, if evidence were to turn up for such a God every theistic religion would claim that this was their God. Despite what you may think not all Gods are the same. This must be conceded before anything else is. Anyone worshipping Poseidon is a lunatic and all of us, including Christians, feel this very deeply. And yet what's the difference between Poseidon and Yahweh? Its not like someone in the third century was able to prove that the Biblical God exists while disproving Poseidon. This is simply not data that we have.

Consider for a moment the following list of Gods:

(Agdistis or Angdistis) (Ah Puch) (Ahura) (Mazda)(Alberich) (Allah) (Amaterasu) (An) (Anansi) (Apollo) (Apsombrocillia) -I made that last one up :D [10]

The list of Gods that were worshiped at some point is upwards of several thousand according to some historians. And if you wanted to be technical the list is actually infinite because any God that may be conceived of would fall under this list. So, even if we knew that a personal God existed there are no good reasons to suppose that this God was the Christian God.

========
God Exi ts- The future of an illusion
====[s]==

The differences in our views conceal some important asymmetries. For instance, I honestly feel that you should have been persuaded by my side of the argument. Can you really say the same? Nonbelievers like myself stand beside you dumbstruck by the people that are still worshipping the pagan Gods of Greek mythology. But we stand dumbstruck by you as well; by your denial of tangible reality; by your abject certainty in baseless folktales; by the suffering you create in service to your religious myths, and by your attachment to an imaginary God. This debate has been an outpouring of that amazement.

Best,
Freeman

Sources:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://library.thinkquest.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://scienceline.org...
[6] http://www.universetoday.com...
[7] http://books.google.com...
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[9] http://www.leaderu.com...
[10] http://ancienthistory.about.com...

Good luck :)
mongeese

Pro

Thank you, Freeman, for your response.

1. The premises of my cosmological argument.

My opponent argues that common sense might not be applicable to certain areas of cosmology and particle physics. However, the key here is that common sense "might" not be applicable. Common sense usually is correct. Therefore, because the resolution is "probably" and not "definitely," I can assume that common sense probably is correct. Additionally, in my opponent's examples, there is nothing that says that a particle can't exist in two places at once, or that a particle can't also be a wave. He also thinks that we will eventually link three different aspects of science in one grand theory. However, if we haven't done it yet, we can't say for certain that is inevitable. Additionally, he asks how my proof will look to physicists. I did not write this proof for physicists. As a non-physicist myself, I wouldn't know how. I wrote it for users of Debate.org.

He argues that step 8 might not be true. However, it is probably true, as we have never had a natural event not directly caused by a preceding event, as outlined by determinism [1]. He gives no other comment, so I use the fact that I only have to show that the God of Christianity is "probably" real.

He seems to have some problem with step 9. However, complaining about the addition of "magical" forces is by no means a rebuttal to the step.

As for step 10, he ignores the first half of the proof, which showed that the universe and time had a definite starting point. A starting point is the first point. If there was an event before the starting point, that event would be the starting point. In order to show step 10 to be fallible, he would have to step 6 to be fallible, and he did not show step 6 to be fallible.

He then points to step 11, although it directly follows from step 10 and the very definition of determinism. As he did not show step 6 to be fallible, he did not show step 10 to be fallible, and he apparently does not disagree with the definition of determinism that I cited from the Wiki, so step 11 logically follows.

And then we come to steps 15-17. However, I never actually did have to prove God to be perfect, omnipotent, and omniscient. Here is the established definition from Round 1:
"God - the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions."
He only had to be conceived to be perfect, omnipotent, and omniscient, which I showed to be true. He is conceived as perfect, omnipotent, and omniscient, as outlined in my source, the Wiki page for God, which affirms the definition.

2. The first cause and God.

My opponent talks about a supercomputer with no physical parts (requiring it to be supernatural) that created the universe. However, this supercomputer would no doubt exist if it did exist, making it a "being" by definition [2]. Additionally, allow me to point to Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question" [3]. In it, a supercomputer did indeed create the universe as we know it. However, that supercomputer is at the same time worshipped as God, because in the story, God is a supercomputer. Even with my opponent's scenario, the supercomputer fits the definition of God, and therefore is God.

He then claims that the Big Bang, Quantum Mechanics, and the universe may be compatible without God, although he doesn't explain how, especially when given the problems of the First Cause as outlined in my proof.

3. Deism vs. Theism

My opponent claims that I need to bridge the gap between a deist God and the God described by the Bible. However, a deist God would STILL be the God described by the Bible; however, the Bible would just have gotten a few facts wrong. Even if God were not exactly how Christian theism described Him, he would still exist all the same, and he'd still be the center of worship for Christian theism.

4. Yahweh is God.

My opponent makes the claim that not all gods are the same. However, given one deistic God, that God would be the main God of every single religion on Earth.

"Indeed, if evidence were to turn up for such a God every theistic religion would claim that this was their God."
And they'd all be right. Go back to the Wiki page for God [4].
"God is a deity in theistic and deistic religions and other belief systems, representing either the sole deity in monotheism, or a principal deity in polytheism."
Every religion has one god that would be labeled as God. That God would be God.

Let's replace my opponent's Poseidon with Zeus, the principle deity of Greek polytheism. In this case, Zeus would be the link between the Greeks and the real God. In the same light, An would be the link between the Sumerians and the real God, and so on.

And then we come to Allah. Now, back when Muhammad accidentally founded Islam [5], he didn't create a new God. "Allah" is just "God" in Arabic. Muslims and Christians worship the exact same God. The God of Christianity is also the God of Islam and the God of Judaism. And by the paragraph above, He is also the God of Greek mythology, the God of Sumerian mythology, the God of Hinduism, and so on. Just because the people call God different names and conceive Him of having different characteristics does not mean that they're worshipping different Gods.

Take this scenario. A Christian and a Hindu are in an argument. This is what you're not going to hear:
"My God is real."
"No, my God is real! Your God is a lie!"
No, you're going to hear this:
"Vishnu has multiple different personalities."
"No, his name is God, and he has three components!"
They don't argue about which God is real. They argue about what God is.

So, in conclusion, all religions are worshipping the same God in different ways. But that one God is the God of all religions. That God, therefore, is the God of Christianity. See the proof in Round 1 for why He is real. The resolution is affirmed. Vote PRO.

Well, thank you for this debate, Freeman. Maybe you'll see my side of things, maybe not. Good luck.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
82 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nonentity 7 years ago
nonentity
-mongeese- Have you ever read the Da Vinci Code series? I know many Christians don't like it (my parents' church has had several sermons talking about that first book) but reading Angels and Demons is the closest I've ever come to believing in God. The idea of creating something from nothing is a very interesting one indeed!
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
"The way I see it, based on points 1-10, you could replace the word "universe" with "idea". Man has created ideas from nothing, and they have grown exponentially, like some would argue the universe has grown..."
Interesting.

"Could you define your use of the term "supernatural" please? Thanks!"
Beyond the natural. Above the natural.
Posted by nonentity 7 years ago
nonentity
Sorry, I meant "you could replace the word", not "world".
Posted by nonentity 7 years ago
nonentity
The way I see it, based on points 1-10, you could replace the world "universe" with "idea". Man has created ideas from nothing, and they have grown exponentially, like some would argue the universe has grown... but I wouldn't call them God.

Could you define your use of the term "supernatural" please? Thanks!
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
TulleKrazy, the definition of God is, "the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions."
Seeing as I proved the supernatural being to be coneived as yada yada yada, it fits the definition of God.

As for the proof, points 1-10 were the points needed to build up the syllogism, and the rest directly followed the points before them.
Posted by nonentity 7 years ago
nonentity
The philosophical gem quoted below from Pro is complete circular reasoning. How each point made sense individually as "proof" God exists or segued into the next is lost on me. I found points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 to be completely irrelevant, and the rest of the points were "begging the question".

"The fallacy of begging the question is committed when an arguer states or assumes as a premise the very thing he or she is trying to prove as a conclusion".

What Pro has essentially argued is that proof that God exists is [14] a supernatural being created the universe and therefore [17] that supernatural being is God.

"First, a proof that God exists:
1. It is impossible to count from negative infinity to a definite number. (Given.)
2. If the universe existed indefinitely, the universe would never reach "now." (2)
3. The universe has reached "now." (Given)
4. The universe did not exist indefinitely. (2 + 3)
5. The universe existed definitely. (4)
6. The universe had a definite starting point. (5)
7. No natural event could have occurred within the universe before this starting point. (6)
8. All natural events are caused as a direct result of the preceding event. (Given)
9. The event that created the universe must have been supernatural. (7, 8)
10. There was no event preceding the creation of the universe. (6)
11. The supernatural event that created the universe could not have been the result of determinism. (10, [1])
12. The supernatural event that created the universe was the result of a free choice. (11)
13. The supernatural event was started by a supernatural being with free choice. (12)
14. A supernatural being created the universe. (9, 13)
15. That supernatural being is conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe. ([2])
16. That supernatural being is the object of worship in monotheistic religions. ([2])
17. That supernatural being is God. (Established definition of God)"
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
How is Pro winning..?
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
Kleptin, I'm still interested in how you would have gone about attacking anyone of the premises in the proof.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
"There are several points of your proof that are logically invalid, and those deviations do not justify the wiggle room between absolute and probable."

Kleptin, how you would you have gone about attacking the proof and which points would you have taken issue with?
Posted by Kleptin 7 years ago
Kleptin
Will post RFD and votes later. A few points:

1. CON, would have liked to see an attack on PRO's multi-step proof earlier. Also, I personally like to make encompassing and forceful posts when concluding as Instigator. I feel that your final post could have had a much greater effect if you packed more punch, since it has to carry an effect over the contender's "final word".

2. PRO, Probability does not change the logical argument. There are several points of your proof that are logically invalid, and those deviations do not justify the wiggle room between absolute and probable. No conclusion can be drawn from an invalid argument, you would have to restructure the entire element to come to a weaker conclusion. Either way, the conclusion has to follow directly from the argument.
33 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by harrytruman 1 year ago
harrytruman
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Reasons for voting decision: Con starts off the round by saying Christianity is "an evil cult", but fails to provide evidence in his whole argument.
Vote Placed by KelchUSMC 6 years ago
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