The God of the Bible Could Potentially Exist
This is a debate over whether or not there is a possibility that the deity depicted in the Bible could exist. I will be taking the position that there is no possibility whatsoever that the god of the Bible exists. I'm giving my opponent a fairly easy task here. After all, I'm trying to prove a negative, which is (in most cases) almost impossible. All I'm looking for is an opponent (preferably agnostic or Christian, but if you want to debate this and don't fall into one of those categories it's no big deal) with a solid understanding of how to present logical arguments, which I'm assuming won't be hard to find, given the impressive debates I've already seen here.
The first round will just be acceptance of the debate challenge. We will then get into the debate. Good luck ahead of time to my opponent, here's hoping I can pull this off.
Welcome to Debate.org and thank you for the opportunity to have this debate!
Thank you to my opponent for accepting this challenge. Glad to be facing off against a fellow Texan here. I wish him the best of luck.
Proving a negative is notoriously difficult. It is generally accepted that one cannot prove the non-existence of any particular being or object (such as, say, a unicorn) without absolute knowledge of the universe. The only way to prove the non-existence of something is to prove that the entity in question is by definition contradictory, and thus, logically impossible. Two common examples of this would be the idea of a square circle or a married bachelor. We can know, without a doubt, that a square circle cannot exist, because it is impossible for a round object with no edges to also have four edges. Likewise, we know that a married bachelor cannot exist, because by definition a bachelor is unmarried, creating a contradiction and thus rendering the idea of the married bachelor impossible. In this debate I will be attempting to show that the deity depicted in the Bible is such a contradictory concept, using the Bible (King James Version) as my primary source of evidence.
1) Extent of the Biblical god's power
The Biblical god is regarded by many modern believers to be all-powerful. There is a decent amount of Biblical support for this belief. Examples:
It is important to recognize that, in order to possess the quality of omnipotence (which Revelations 19:6 explicitly claims the Biblical god has), a being must be able to do anything. As such, the inability to lie or oppose enemies with iron chariots would make it impossible for said being to be all-powerful. The Bible proclaims the Biblical god to be both all-powerful and limited in power, resulting in an apparent contradiction.
However, as with the question of the Biblical god's power, there is also a solid supply of evidence against the deity's omniscience:
The Biblical god's apparent lack of knowledge of Adam's location and of the princes directly conflicts with the claims made in the former passages proclaiming the Biblical god's omniscience. The Bible proclaims the Biblical god to be both all-knowing and limited in knowledge, resulting in an apparent contradiction.
= Framework =
- My opponent's resolution is a impossible to prove "Con" as the "Potentially" clause assures that if there is even a minor possibility; I will win.
- My opponent cannot prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the God of the bible could not possibly exist.
- I don't even need to refute my opponent's arguments to win, as thy are rooted in semantic interpretation of scripture.
= Arguments =
Although I don't need to do anything to actually win this round; that would kill the purpose of ha a debate in the first place. So I will actually refute my opponent's arguments.
1) Extend of the Biblical God's power
My opponent first shows us that nothing is impossible for God, but then shows us two verses that would supposedly show things God couldn't do.
I contend my opponent's interpretation and perception of these verses are wrong.
- All God says is true, thus even if he where to say something that wasn't true in our logic; it would become true as it would be spoken into existence.
- Lying is sinful; and sin is the absence of God. Thus if God too part in it it would no longer be lying.
- There is no reason for God to lie, thus all things are still possible.
- The wording is off due to translation; but it doesn't literally mean that God was unable, it means he was unwilling.
2) Extent of the Biblical God's knowledge
Again, my opponent's interpretation of these verses are wrong
- This was a rhetorical question. This is made abundantly clear by context of the surrounding passage
- My opponent isn't even quoting the entire verse, "They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off." when looking at the entire verse, it's obvious that the verse means that God did no recognize the calf as holy or Godly.
= Conclusion =
- Ultimately my opponent's arguments are based on semantic interpretation of these verses.
- Even if my opponent's arguments where true, that does not mean that the God of the bible does not exist.
There is no other vote in this debate than for the Pro
My opponent's first statement in his "Framework" section is correct, in that if he can prove even a minor possibility, he will win. However, that does not make my task impossible. I have demonstrated a method by which I can prove my position: by showing that the entity in question is, by definition, contradictory. Please note that my goal is not to disprove all deities, but one deity in particular: the deity described by the Bible. And, as the Bible is the only document which can provide a definition for the god in question, if I can show that the Bible's definition of "god" is contradictory, I can prove that the Biblical god cannot exist. My argument is rooted in semantics only in that it is concerned with the definition of god as given in the Bible. If my opponent is going to claim that my task is impossible, I would first like him to either show that my method of logically proving non-existence is flawed, or that I have failed to adequately accomplish the requirements of my method. As he has chosen to dispute my evidence, I would assume he is taking the latter approach.
My opponent does not seem to believe that the quoted verses represent contradictions, and has presented arguments to that effect. I have a few issues with his attempts at refutation.
1) The Extent of the Biblical God's Power
- If you are suggesting that god defies logical understanding, I must ask why you are participating in a debate which was clearly meant to follow a logical framework in discussing this issue. I would also like to ask that you provide some explanation as to how something can defy logic and still be considered to be coherent or existent.
- For a being to be considered "all powerful", it must be able to do anything. Without the ability to lie (or to sin, which you also claim is impossible for god), a being cannot be rightly considered "all-powerful" as it clearly lacks a particular ability. This still represents a contradiction. Beyond that, there are instances in the Bible in which god clearly lies or claims the ability to lie. Take for example Ezekiel 14:9 - "And if a prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet." This would represent another contradiction with Hebrews 6:18.
- I would like to request that, if my opponent wishes to cite translation error as a refutation of a contradiction, he provide an alternate translation, complete with the relevant passages in English and the language in which the passage was originally written (in this case, the Hebrew text will do). I would also request that my opponent provide a compelling argument as to why his translation better represents the meaning of the original passage. It is far too easy to just say that a contradiction is a result of a translation error; I am simply requesting evidence to support this claim.
2) Extent of the Biblical God's Knowledge
- Here is the verse in context:
I have put the verse in question in bold, and done the same to two more questions asked by the Biblical god immediately after, which again show an apparent lack of knowledge. I would like to ask my opponent to please explain how it is he came to the conclusion that the original verse was a rhetorical question, as I, with my apparently inferior level of comprehension, do not see any reason to believe that the question is rhetorical. I would also ask my opponent to explain the Biblical god's other questions, as they too seem to show a limitation in knowledge. So far as I can see, there is still a contradiction between this passage and the claims to the Biblical god's omniscience.
I will give this one to my opponent. While I am not completely convinced that his analysis is correct, I will concede that there is potential for this verse to mean what my opponent claims, and as such I will drop the question of Hosea 8:4.
Thoughts on My Opponent's Conclusions
- My arguments are based on semantic interpretations only in that I am relying on the Biblical definition of god, and the words used to describe the Biblical god contradict each other numerous times.
- The only way a deity can be considered to be the "Biblical god" is if the deity in question matches the definition of "god" given in the Bible. If the definition of the Biblical god is inherently contradictory, then the Biblical god cannot logically exist. I am not trying to disprove all deities, but rather the specific deity described in the Bible.
I would like to assure anyone reading this debate that the mechanics of this site have not changed. It is entirely possible for you to vote Con. And I would like to ask that my opponent not attempt to claim victory until all the arguments have been presented.
BangBang-Coconut forfeited this round.
Sadly, it would appear that my opponent's account has been deleted. I would like to ask that anyone with any comments or questions about my position please post said concerns in the comments section, and I will use the final round to respond to as many as possible.
BangBang-Coconut forfeited this round.
Well, I have no particular questions or comments to respond to, and I have no intention of making anyone slog through an entirely unnecessary wall of text. So, I will go ahead and thank my opponent for his contribution to this discussion, and I will also extend thanks in advance to anyone who may come in and vote on this. I know that voting may seem pointless, seeing as my opponent is no longer on debate.org, but any commentary you may have on my arguments would be greatly appreciated. Again, thank you for your time.
BangBang-Coconut forfeited this round.
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