The Instigator
gwinfrost
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
1Credo
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

The Judeo-Christian God exists.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
1Credo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 965 times Debate No: 66979
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

gwinfrost

Con

The Judeo-Christian God does not exist because there is no reliable proof of his existence.

Hinduism predates Judaism; Jainism, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism predates Christianity. Dozens of other religions which are now regarded as mythology also predate Christianity. Why didn't God introduce Christianity into the world before all of the other religions existed? If the first man and woman were created by God, why weren't they Jewish/Christian? Why didn't they teach their descendants to be Jewish/Christian? Why did Judaism/Christianity only officially become a religion 2000 years after Hinduism?

If God is willing to stop evil and able, then from where does evil come? (In this case, evil can include natural disaster, disease, etc)
If God is unwilling to stop evil but able, then he is malevolent.
If God is willing to stop evil but unable, then he is not omnipotent.
If God is unwilling to stop evil and unable, why call him God?
-Epicurus

Prayer does nothing. If God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, he would already be aware of every man's problems. Only he can decide when (if at all) he wants to fix it, as it is God's Will. Therefore, praying to God will do nothing, as he already knows of the issue and has already decided when he will solve the problem.
1Credo

Pro

1. Acceptance

I accept. I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. I look forward to a good discussion!

2. Burden of Proof

I assume that the burden of proof in this debate will be shared. As the existence of God can neither be proved nor disproved, the winner of the debate will be determined by which side presents the better arguments in favor of their position. My opponent's burden will be to provide arguments and evidence to show that the Judeo-Christian God does not exist, while my burden will be to provide arguments and evidence to show that the Judeo-Christian God does exist. In order to win the debate, then, one must tear down each of his opponent's arguments and provide at least one sound argument in favor of his own position.

3. Rebuttal

I will begin by responding to each of my opponent's points before moving on to provide my own arguments.

"The Judeo Christian God does not exist because there is no reliable proof of his existence"

As I stated earlier, the existence of God can neither be proved nor disproved. However, later in this round I will attempt to provide arguments as evidence for the existence of the Judeo-Christian God.

"Hinduism predates Judaism; Jainism Taoism Buddhism Confucianism predates Christianity. Dozens of other religions which are now regarded as mythology also predate Christianity"

The temporal order in which religions originated has nothing to do with the truth of any of these religions.

"Why didn't God introduce Christianity into the world before all of the other religions existed?"

Why should we think it's necessary that God ought to have introduced Christianity before any other religion? I see no reason to believe this. Perhaps God had a good reason for sending Christ to Earth at the time He did. It's entirely possible that the time of Christ's arrival on Earth was selected in order to maximize the spreading of the Gospel. I think one would be hard pressed to show that this is not true, as any objection would be mere speculation.

"If the first man and woman were created by God why weren't they Jewish/Christian? Why didn't they teach their descendants to be Jewish/Christian?"

Who's to say that it's necessary that the first humans ought to have been either Jews or Christians? There seems to be some underlying assumption at play here, but I see no explicit issue with a non-Jewish and non-Christian first human.

"Why did Judaism/Christianity only officially become a religion 2000 years after Hinduism?"

Again, the temporal order in which religions originated has no relevance.

"If God is willing to stop evil and able then from where does evil come? (In this case, evil can include natural disaster, disease, etc)
If God is unwilling to stop evil but able then he is malevolent
If God is willing to stop evil but unable then he is not omnipotent
If God is unwilling to stop evil and unable why call him God?"

As you can imagine given the comment that was posted on this debate, this argument isn't really substantive. God is unable to stop evil (due to the existence of free will), but this presents no issue toward God's omnipotence. If one has omnipotence it means that being is able to do everything logically possible. As stopping evil is impossible in light of free will, God remains omnipotent evil while evil exists in the world.

"Prayer does nothing"

Is this a reflection on your own experience or is it a subjective opinion? Maybe prayer does nothing for you, but there have been hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) of people throughout the centuries who can attest to the power of prayer. The fact of the matter is that prayer did something for a great deal of people. Prayer not doing anything for you does nothing to show that prayer does nothing for anyone else.

"If God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, he would already be aware of every man's problems"

Correct.

"Only he can decide when (if at all) he wants to fix it as it is Gods Will"

Correct.

"Therefore praying to God will do nothing as he already knows of the issue and has already decided when he will solve the problem"

This conclusion does not follow. I agree that God knows of our issues and that He alone decides whether or not He will fix them, but it is entirely possible that He takes our prayers into account when deciding whether or not He will fix our issues. To disagree with this would require that you know the mind of God, which is of course itself evidence for His existence.

4. Arguments

i. God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C1: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Defense of P1: I will not spend much time on premise one, as it is fairly self-explanatory and relatively uncontroversial. Simply put, something cannot come from nothing. This is supported by reason as well as by experience. No one has ever witnessed a material object (say, a tree) pop out of nothing in front of their eyes. The idea itself is absurd, as everything within the natural world has a cause for its existence.
Defense of P2: There is both philosophical and empirical evidence that verify premise two. In order for this premise to be false, one must assert that the universe is eternal. This suggestion contradicts both science and reason. Let us start with the philosophical evidence for premise two. Reason alone can show us that the idea of an eternal past (with an infinite number of past events) is impossible. The absurdity of infinity is shown in this example:
I begin with an infinite amount of coins. I subtract an infinite amount of coins from my original count. How many coins do I have left? (Answer = an infinite amount of coins)
I begin with an infinite amount of coins. I subtract three coins from my original count. How many coins do I have left? (Answer = an infinite amount of coins)
In both cases, I subtracted the same exact number of coins from my original count, yet I arrived at contradicting answers. This, along with several other examples (i.e. Hilbert's Hotel) go to show that infinity does not exist in reality.
Now, let us take a look at the empirical evidence supporting this premise. Aside from the obvious Big-Bang model of cosmology, which estimates that the universe came into being from nothing about 13.8 billion years ago, the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem shows that any universe which is on average in a state of expansion (as our universe is) cannot be eternal.

http://now.tufts.edu...


ii. God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.
P1: If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
P2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
C1: Therefore, God exists.

Defense of P1: Here again, premise one is relatively uncontroversial. If there is no God, then we have no standard from which to deem particular moral acts "good" or "evil". In order for objective moral values and duties to exist, there must exist a perfect standard: God.
Defense of P2: Each of us have a sense of morality which tells us that certain actions are objectively "good" or objectively "evil". For example, I can clearly recognize that altruism (self-sacrifice in order to further the well-being of others) is objectively good. I can also clearly recognize that raping and torturing a child is objectively evil. I have no more reason to doubt the reliability of these moral senses than I do to doubt the reliability of my physical senses. In other words, for any argument given in an attempt to show that our moral senses are not valid (and objective morality is therefore not valid), I can construct a parallel argument to show that our physical senses are not valid (and the physical world we experience through these senses is therefore not valid). In order for one to disagree with premise two, one must believe that an action like rape is just as "good" as an action like generosity, and that no objective distinction can be made between the nature of "goodness" of the two acts.
Debate Round No. 1
gwinfrost

Con

Thank you, Pro.

"Why should we think it's necessary that God ought to have introduced Christianity before any other religion? I see no reason to believe this."

It would only make sense that Adam and Eve would believe in the existence of their Creator (as they had a very intimate relationship) and would teach the ways of their Creator to their descendants. If one were to take the Bible literally, the earth is less than 10,000 years old. Hinduism was created 2,000 BC, which means Adam and Eve's descendants would have had approximately one to six thousand years to make at least one lasting sacred writing before Hinduism came to be. However, the first Hindu temples and sacred writings that predate the first Christian or Jewish sacred writings. If one believes the earth is older than 10,000 years, then Adam and Eve's descendants would only have had more time.

"God is unable to stop evil (due to the existence of free will), but this presents no issue toward God's omnipotence."

I had stated that "evil" in this argument meant disaster and disease which affected the innocent. Free will may explain why humans inflict evil upon each other, but natural disaster and disease are not a result of a man's free will. Many innocent and good people of all religions (including Christians and Jews) die of natural disaster and disease every day.

"Is this a reflection on your own experience or is it a subjective opinion? Maybe prayer does nothing for you, but there have been hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) of people throughout the centuries who can attest to the power of prayer. The fact of the matter is that prayer did something for a great deal of people. Prayer not doing anything for you does nothing to show that prayer does nothing for anyone else."

These "billions" of people are not only Christians and Jews, but people of all religions, no matter how large or small. Even those who belonged to a religion (which is now regarded as mythology) have attested to the power of their prayer. There is no scientific evidence that prayer has any effect on what happens.

"This conclusion does not follow. I agree that God knows of our issues and that He alone decides whether or not He will fix them, but it is entirely possible that He takes our prayers into account when deciding whether or not He will fix our issues. To disagree with this would require that you know the mind of God, which is of course itself evidence for His existence."

A man prays if he really wants something (for example, his brother to be healed of cancer, etc). If God were omniscient, he would already know that man already wants his brother to be healed of cancer and can take that into account instantly. He can also take into account whether or not this man is a good person, and whether or not he is a follower of God. Thus God does not need any insignificant mortal to alert him of any issue or help him decide anything, as an omniscient person would already know of every problem in existence and what to do about it.

"i. God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe."

If God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe, why can't Brahman, the Hindu Creator of Everything, be a better explanation? Why not Zeus? Because fewer people believe in them? What makes one omnipotent God better than the other?

"Simply put, something cannot come from nothing. This is supported by reason as well as by experience. No one has ever witnessed a material object (say, a tree) pop out of nothing in front of their eyes."

No prevailing scientific theory states that the Universe came from "nothing". In General Relativity, the Big Bang is a spacetime singularity. Spacetime is "any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single interwoven continuum." When the Universe was incredibly dense about 14 billion years ago, the immense amount of gravitational force it had altered the coordinates of both space and time infinitely. This means that as you go backwards in time, you eventually run out of time (or spacetime). The path back in time cannot be extended beyond 14 billion years or so. There is no time before this.

What this means is that there was never a time when the universe didn"t exist. It has always been here. It"s tempting to think, "Ah, but what about before the Big Bang "" say 14 billion years ago "" then there was nothing, not even the universe!" But this is mistake. According to General Relativity, there is no 14 billion years ago. There is no "before the Big Bang."

"If there is no God, then we have no standard from which to deem particular moral acts 'good' or 'evil'. In order for objective moral values and duties to exist, there must exist a perfect standard: God."

Morality is more complex than right from wrong, as the right can be wrong in a different circumstance. For example, in Les Miserables, Jean Valjean steals a loaf of bread to save his sister and her child, as they live in poverty due to the unfair taxes of the French aristocracy in the late 1700's. According to the Eighth Commandment, "thou Shalt not Steal", Jean Valjean should be sold for his theft. "If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft." - Exodus 22. While stealing is often wrong, the Bible does not take into account the situations when stealing can be justified.

Where does morality come from, according to science?

According to several psychologists, helping others actually makes one feel better about himself because it makes him feel useful and superior to the person he is helping.

While rape and torture also gives a person a sense of superiority, the person subconsciously recognizes the consequences of his actions. In fact, psychologists believe that due to the human's incredible intelligence, it is able to consider the consequences of his actions. According to the Theory of Evolution, only the fittest survives. If one organism assists another member of his species, he is essentially helping his species survive. To rape or torture a child is to harm someone of your species. This is why murder (human killing human) is regarded as "taboo" while killing animals is considered necessary.

Hindu sacred texts which predate the Torah provide similar commandments about morality such as "do not covet" and "do not steal" as well. Again, what makes Christianity more reliable than any other religion?

There is also reason to believe that the story of Jesus was modeled after the story of Horus, an ancient Egyptian God.

Both were born to a virgin. Horus' mother is named Isis-Meri; Jesus' mother is named Mary. Both of their mothers received messages from angels that they would give birth to a boy. Horus' birth was heralded by the star Sirius, the morning star. Jesus' birth was heralded by the "star of the East".

Both Horus and Jesus' births were announced by angels. Three solar deities witnessed Horus' birth; three wise men witnessed Jesus' birth. Herut unsuccessfully attempted to murder Horus, Herod unsuccessfully attempted to murder Jesus. Both were baptized at the age of 30, both of their baptizers were beheaded.

Which one came first, the story of Horus or the story of Jesus?

"The Pagan Christ; Recovering the Lost Light," Thomas Allen, (2004)
http://www.religioustolerance.org...
https://www.biblegateway.com...
http://www.psychologytoday.com...
1Credo

Pro

Thanks, Con.

1. Rebuttal

"It would only make sense that Adam and Eve would believe in the existence of their Creator"

I have two points to make on this. The first is that belief in a literal man named Adam and woman named Eve is not a prerequisite to belief in the Judeo-Christian God. The second is that even if one did believe in a literal Adam and Eve, there is no reason to think that Adam and Eve did not have a relationship with their Creator. Who's to say that one must be a Jew or a Christian in order to have a relationship with God? I certainly have not made this assertion.

"I had stated that "evil" in this argument meant disaster and disease which affected the innocent."

My apologies. Evil is defined as immoral, so I don't really see anything "evil" about natural disasters and diseases.

Nevertheless, you seem to be asserting that this is some sort of logical contradiction between the existence of God and the existence of natural disasters/disease. I see nothing contradictory between these two statements, so I assume there is some sort of hidden assumption that you're working with. In order for natural disasters/diseases to be an issue for belief in God, you'd have to show that it is logically impossible that both God and natural disasters/diseases could exist. The burden of proof is on you to show your assertion to be true. No atheist in history has ever been able to demonstrate a logical contradiction, and until one is presented, it can be reasonably concluded that there is no contradiction between the existence of God, on one hand, and the existence of natural disasters/diseases on the other.

"Even those who belonged to a religion (which is now regarded as mythology) have attested to the power of their prayer. There is no scientific evidence that prayer has any effect on what happens."

My opponent seems to acknowledge that people of all religions attest to the power of prayer (which seems to contradict his previous claim that prayer is useless). My opponent then goes on to argue that a lack of scientific evidence for prayer is an issue. This is a trivial objection. Science by definition is the study of the natural world. As prayer is supernatural, science couldn't possibly tell us anything about prayer. It is not within the scope of science.

"A man prays if he really wants something (for example, his brother to be healed of cancer, etc). If God were omniscient, he would already know that man already wants his brother to be healed of cancer and can take that into account instantly. He can also take into account whether or not this man is a good person, and whether or not he is a follower of God. Thus God does not need any insignificant mortal to alert him of any issue or help him decide anything, as an omniscient person would already know of every problem in existence and what to do about it."

You're absolutely right that God already knows our needs before we ask for them in prayer. As I stated previously, I am in complete agreement with you on this. However, even though God knows what we will ask for in prayer, it is entirely possible that whether or not He decides to intervene (answer prayer) is dependent on our free choice of prayer. To give an example, let's say that God knows that a man named John really wants to be cured of an illness. Perhaps God will only intervene to help if John freely asks for it (through prayer). In other words, God won't force His help onto us; He waits for us to ask Him for it through prayer.

2. Arguments

i.) God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.

My opponent gives no indication that he disagrees with the first premise of this argument (everything that begins to exist has a cause) but he does take issue with the second premise (the universe began to exist). My opponent, by stating "there was never a time when the universe didn't exist" affirms an eternal universe and, therefore, an infinite past.

The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem shows that the quantum vacuum state of the early universe must have had an absolute beginning. We can go back 14.5 billion years to the original quantum vacuum state of the universe, but as my opponent rightly acknowledges, we then run out of time. This quantum vacuum must have (according to the BVG theorem) have an absolute beginning. As everything that begins to exist has a cause, the obvious question raised is: What cause the beginning of the universe?

As for the idea of an infinite past that my opponent seems to be affirming, I showed in the opening round that infinity is merely an idea in our minds, but it has no place in reality. This is unanimously agreed upon by mathematicians and can be easily seen by examples like Hilbert's Hotel.

ii.) God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.

"Morality is more complex than right from wrong, as the right can be wrong in a different circumstance."

This is pure speculation and subjective opinion. It could be the case that certain acts (like stealing) are either right or wrong in every scenario. Even if "right" and "wrong" did depend on varying circumstances, this would do nothing to show that therefore there is no real "right" or "wrong". It would at best show that what's "right" in one scenario might be "wrong" in another; but again, that action would still be either objectively "right" or "wrong" depending on the circumstance.

"According to the Theory of Evolution only the fittest survives. If one organism assists another member of his species he is essentially helping his species survive. To rape or torture a child is to harm someone of your species. This is why murder (human killing human) is regarded as taboo while killing animals is considered necessary."

I am currently studying evolutionary biology at my university, and I can assure you that no explanation for morality is to be found through evolution. My opponent argues that actions like helping others are moral because this will increase the fitness of the organism in the long term, and that actions like murder are immoral because they will decrease the fitness of the organism in the long term. On this view, then, actions like self-sacrifice would be immoral. In other words, if a man gave his life so that a stranger whom he had never met could live, he would be committing just as evil an act as if he had raped, tortured, and murdered that same stranger's children. This is nonsensical.

Furthermore, this view falters when faced with varying environmental circumstances. Murder may be immoral while it decreases fitness; but in another environment where murder increases fitness, the act would be perfectly moral and good. This means that this type of morality is dependent upon environmental circumstances, which doesn't really equate to morality at all. This is a description of advantageous socio-biological behavior, not a description of any sort of morality.

"Hindu sacred texts which predate the Torah provide similar commandments about morality such as do not covet and do not steal as well. Again, what makes Christianity more reliable than any other religion?"

I'm not arguing that Christianity is more moral than other religions, or anything like that. I'm simply arguing that objective moral values exist. If that's the case, then there must exist a source of morality. I call that source God.

"There is also reason to believe that the story of Jesus was modeled after the story of Horus, an ancient Egyptian God."

This doesn't have much to do with objective morality, but it's an elementary objection that bothers me. I'll have to ask you to provide a primary academic source for any comparison you make between Jesus and Horus, as I'm afraid no such comparison exists. This is a common internet-atheist myth that has no academic credibility. Until you are able to provide a primary academic source, we will continue to treat it as a myth.

3. Burden of Proof

At this point in the debate, I have 2 standing arguments in support of my BOP, while my opponent has 0 to support his BOP.
Debate Round No. 2
gwinfrost

Con

Thanks, Pro

"Who's to say that one must be a Jew or a Christian in order to have a relationship with God? I certainly have not made this assertion."

You're right, they don't have to be a Jew or a Christian, but as I had previously stated, Adam and Eve's descendants had at least 1,000 years to make one written record of a god that is similar to the Judeo-Christian god... the first appeared only after plenty of other beliefs had come to be.

I had stated in Round 2: "I had stated that "evil" in this argument meant disaster and disease which affected the innocent."

You responded in Round 2: "evil is defined as immoral, so I don't really see anything "evil" about natural disasters and diseases."

If God chooses to inflict natural disaster and disease on the innocent, it is immoral on his account. It is evil.

"Nevertheless, you seem to be asserting that this is some sort of logical contradiction between the existence of God and the existence of natural disasters/disease."

Not necessarily. I find it illogical for a *good* god to inflict natural disaster and disease on the innocent, or at least, not bother to save them from injuries or illness, and keep them in PAIN for quite some time.
According to the Bible, God loves us. If he's omnipotent and loves us, he wouldn't let millions of innocent people suffer from disease or natural disaster each day.

"The burden of proof is on you to show your assertion to be true."

Satisfied?

"My opponent seems to acknowledge that people of all religions attest to the power of prayer (which seems to contradict his previous claim that prayer is useless)."

How does this contradict my claim that prayer is useless? Just because a person claims their prayer works does not mean it does. With this statement I acknowledge that while Christians claim their Christian God answers their prayers, Hindus claim Brahman, Vishnu, Shiva, etc... answer theirs. So while religions contradict each other "you shall have no god before me", it seems like every religion's prayers are being answered. Therefore, their claims are of no significance and can be regarded as untrue.

"As prayer is supernatural, science couldn't possibly tell us anything about prayer. It is not within the scope of science."

Awfully convenient. You still have the Burden of Proof to prove the Christian God exists and that other gods do not.

"Perhaps God will only intervene to help if John freely asks for it (through prayer). In other words, God won't force His help onto us; He waits for us to ask Him for it through prayer."

Whether or not someone prays is not entirely dependent on his free choice of prayer; where a man is born can also affect it. If one is born into a Christian home, he has "access" to God, hypothetically speaking. However, if a man is born into a Hindu or Muslim home, he doesn't have access. Will God simply ignore these other religions, just because they were not raised to believe in him? Hypothetically speaking, if God exists, then it is a matter of chance whether or not you have access to God. Where you are born decides it.

"My opponent gives no indication that he disagrees with the first premise of this argument (everything that begins to exist has a cause) but he does take issue with the second premise (the universe began to exist). My opponent, by stating "there was never a time when the universe didn't exist" affirms an eternal universe and, therefore, an infinite past. "

Well, I do disagree. I showed that by disagreeing with your second premise... which ultimately supports your first premise.

"What cause the beginning of the universe?"

As I had stated, there was no "before the Big Bang". The Universe was so infinitely dense, time did not exist as it was a "quantum vacuum", as you said. When the Universe expanded due to the immense heat of the singularity, spacetime was ultimately created. Spacetime is "time and three-dimensional space regarded as fused in a four-dimensional continuum." If the universe is infinitely dense, it is like a point on a graph: it has no dimensions. As it expands, it takes up space (three dimensions), and ultimately time (the fourth dimension).

"As for the idea of an infinite past that my opponent seems to be affirming, I showed in the opening round that infinity is merely an idea in our minds, but it has no place in reality."

You demonstrated this with coins. Having coins is far different from having dimensions, which are, essentially, non-existent. A dimension, however, can go on forever. This indicated on a simple graph with lines (as opposed to line segments, indicating that there is a beginning and an end).

"This is pure speculation and subjective opinion. It could be the case that certain acts (like stealing) are either right or wrong in every scenario. Even if "right" and "wrong" did depend on varying circumstances, this would do nothing to show that therefore there is no real "right" or "wrong". It would at best show that what's "right" in one scenario might be "wrong" in another; but again, that action would still be either objectively "right" or "wrong" depending on the circumstance."

The Bible contains many rules, not only the Ten Commandments, but they are outdated and are very black and white. "You shall not steal." (Exodus 20) doesn't allow for any exceptions. There is a difference between stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving niece and stealing a car because you believe it will make you look cool. But the Bible does not take this into account and is thus, an unreliable "source" for morality.

"On this view, then, actions like self-sacrifice would be immoral"

No. This is where pheromones kick in. Organisms are designed to protect themselves as well, and is almost always first priority (sometimes after offspring). You bring up the action of self-sacrifice and claim that, using my logic, it would be evil.
In self sacrifice, one can either let himself die to preserve the life of someone else or have the other die and survive.
In rape, torture, and murder, there is no choice between which life to preserve; there is only a choice of whether or not to harm someone else. Harming the child or woman does not preserve the life of anyone else. Self sacrifice does, however, and is therefore justified. You are comparing two very different situations with very different variables.

"Until you are able to provide a primary academic source, we will continue to treat it as a myth."

I provided the name of the book: The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light, which was a 2004 best-selling non-fiction, written by Tom Harpur,, a former Anglican priest, journalist and professor of Greek and New Testament at the University of Toronto, which supports the Christ myth theory.

I also studied evolutionary biology in high school and at Princeton, but I have also done extra research about morality, something Christians bring up quite often. Not only does the theory of Evolution support the existence of morality, but there are many other psychological theories.

http://psychology.about.com...

None of your arguments in support of your burden of proof genuinely stand. If one were to use inductive reasoning, they would see that all religions and mythologies, including Judaism and Christianity make the same mistake: providing no evidence. Therefore all religions can be considered to be equally as probable... but they all contradict each other. Therefore it is just as likely for God to be real as it is for Zeus. Zeus is regarded as non-existent not because there's no "proof" against his existence, but because no one believes in him anymore!

Even if there was evidence of a creator, it would support other religions. To prove the Christian god is real, you must first prove all others are false, which you have not. "No god before me". But since these other gods are supernatural and are outside the 'scope of science", I guess you can't disprove them either.
1Credo

Pro

Thanks, Con

1. Rebuttal

"Adam and Eve's descendants had at least 1,000 years to make one written record of a god that is similar to the Judeo-Christian god... the first appeared only after plenty of other beliefs had come to be."

Again, I see no reason why this should be necessary. Oral tradition would have done the job, and it needn't be similar to either Judaism or Christianity (as my opponent seemed to agree with). And that's if Adam and Eve were, in fact, literal people, which the Christian is by no means restricted to believing.

"If God chooses to inflict natural disaster and disease on the innocent, it is immoral on his account. It is evil."

Why think that God is "inflicting" natural disasters and diseases on people? Do you have any justification to support this assertion? It's entirely possible that an evil force, Satan for example, is responsible for natural disasters and diseases. I see no reason to assert that God is responsible.

"Satisfied?"

Not quite. My opponent has failed to show that there is a logical contradiction between the existence of a "good" God and the existence of evil. In fact, when I asked if my opponent thought such a contradiction existed he responded "not necessarily". So, we can reasonably conclude that no logical contradiction between God and evil exists. As such, the problem of evil fails.

"it seems like every religion's prayers are being answered"

Everyone can recognize that there are thousands of conceptions of God. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there are not two identical conceptions of God, so that each individual who has ever lived has had a conception of God that differs in at least one aspect from another. We can just as easily recognize, however, that we aren't each praying to a unique God. Members of several different religions pray to their conception of God, but we must keep in mind that it is the same God (if He exists) who receives each of those prayers.

"Whether or not someone prays is not entirely dependent on his free choice of prayer; where a man is born can also affect it."

I agree; one's environmental circumstances certainly impact the probability that one will pray (or refrain from prayer). This is irrelevant to what was being discussed with regard to prayer, however.

2. Arguments in Favor of God

Recall that in the beginning of the debate, I presented two arguments in favor of the Judeo-Christian God. These arguments included (1) God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe and (2) God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties. I'll respond to my opponent's most recent objections to these arguments:

In response to the first argument I presented, my opponent argues that the universe had no beginning because there was no "before the big bang". My opponent completely ignored the evidence I presented for a beginning of the universe (namely the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem). This theorem says that the quantum vacuum state of the early universe must have had an absolute beginning. It is not fair to simply ignore this widely accepted theorem in favor of a subjective personal opinion (without evidence) on a beginingless universe, as my opponent has opted to take.

My opponent also takes issue with my saying that infinity does not exist in reality. Here again, he gives no evidence to support his objection. Here are just a few academic sources showing that a universe with an infinite past is not possible:

https://www.math.toronto.edu...
http://www.princeton.edu...
http://people.clas.ufl.edu...

Thus, it seems that my opponent has failed to knock down the first argument that was presented. Now, let us turn to the second argument.

My opponent originally argued that objective morality comes from evolution. I showed the absurdity of this proposition in my last argument, and it seems from my opponent's lack of response that he has decided to drop this argument. My opponent moves on to argue that the Bible "is an unreliable source for morality". Again, this is pure speculation on my opponent's behalf. Nonetheless, even if he is correct, it does not follow that therefore objective morality does not exist.

I responded to one of my opponent's objections in the last round by arguing that using his line of reasoning, self-sacrifice is immoral (see my last argument). My opponent responded to this by saying that self-sacrifice is moral due to the fact that someone else's life is being preserved. This contradicts what he argued in the last round, however, when he stated that morality must increase fitness. Clearly, self-sacrifice that results in death does not increase fitness. It is not reasonable to suggest that because another organism's fitness is increased, morality is maintained. That is not how evolution works. An organism that sacrificed it's life (and the passing on of its genes) in order that another organism (with a different set of genes) might live to reproduce would be an evolutionary disasters. To quote Charles Darwin from On the Origin of Species, this type of behavior would "annihilate" the theory of evolution.

3. The Story of Horus

My opponent continues to assert that Jesus is some sort of myth modeled after a character named Horus. This radical theory is overwhelmingly rejected in academia; the comparisons between Jesus and Horus are have simply been invented by atheists and have no standing whatsoever in academic circles. To counter the book that my opponent offered as a source (which is by no means an academic source, as I requested), here are two books which demonstrate the historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth:

The Evidence for Jesus by James D.G. Dunn
The Historical Evidence for Jesus by G.A. Wells

4. Conclusions

As there was a shared burden of proof in this debate, my opponent and I have both been responsible for providing arguments and evidence in support of our respective positions. My opponent has failed to provide any sound arguments in favor of his position. I have shown the error in each of the arguments he has attempted to bring forward, including the problem of evil, the argument that prayer doesn't work, and the argument that Jesus was a myth based on the character of Horus.

None of these objections were successful. My opponent failed to justify his assertion that there is a contradiction between the existence of God and the existence of evil, the assertion that prayer doesn't work, and the assertion that Jesus did not exist.

On the other hand, I have provided two sound arguments in favor of my position in this debate:

1) God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
2) God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.

My opponent was unable to knock down either of these arguments. His attempts to show that the universe is eternal and that morality comes about through evolutionary means have been utterly flawed. As such, we are left with two sound arguments in favor of God, and zero sound arguments against God.

I have fulfilled my share of the burden of proof in this debate by providing reasons to think it is likely that God exists. My opponent, on the other hand, has failed to carry his share of the burden of proof.

5. Sources

http://now.tufts.edu...
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
The Evidence for Jesus by James D.G. Dunn
The Historical Evidence for Jesus by G.A. Wells
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DraftyBasilisk 2 years ago
DraftyBasilisk
@1Credo

You assert that Mathematical fact and morality are similar, but there are key differences that need to be taken into account. Firstly, there are authorities that can correct us if we say that 2+2=5 - Mathematicians. There are no such authorities to correct us on morality. If one person was to say that murder is good, and another states that it is in fact evil, nobody has justification for saying who is stating fact and who is stating fiction. Secondly, Objectivity is the idea that some acts are 'universally wrong' meaning that it is a fact, as factual as gravity, to say that murder is evil. This does not work, there can be no universally 'wrong' and 'good' deeds as there are no authorities to give us these set moral rules, to say that your opinion is right and mine is wrong is still just your opinion, only you are justifying it by saying 'my opinion is right because lots of other people think it is right as well'.

My rational justification for subjective morality is this; there are no humans that have enough moral superiority to state their moral opinions as fact, and anybody who does enforce these opinions should be ridiculed and reminded that their opinions have no more authority than everyone else.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
@DraftyBasilisk

You assert that "objectivity and morality are not connected" and "moral values are personal and subjective" without any sort of rational justification.

Your main objection to objective morality seems to be that if objective moral values existed, we should all agree on what they are. This is an incorrect interpretation of objective morality. Objective morality does not mean that everyone, for example, thinks of murder as evil. You could be right; no doubt there is someone out there who thinks murder is "good". This presents no issue to the existence of objective morality. What is meant by morals being objective is simply that any give action (say, murder) is right/wrong independent of our own subjective views.

To give an example, take 2 individuals, individual A and individual B. Individual A believes that 2+2=4. Individual B believes that 2+2=5. Does this mean that the sum of 2+2 is subjective? Of course not! 2+2=4 is an objective truth. One might hold a subjective opinion of that truth, but that opinion is irrelevant. In the very same way, individual A believes that murder is evil. Individual B believes that murder is good. Does this mean that the "goodness" of murder is subjective? Of course that does not follow. It merely means that humans have differing opinions on what's good and what's evil, but it does nothing to show that there is no such thing as an objectively good or evil act.
Posted by DraftyBasilisk 2 years ago
DraftyBasilisk
The chemical reactions explain how we feel about our moral beliefs, but not the beliefs themselves. We would not have held moral beliefs until we attempted to civilise ourselves as a species; because, for example, moral beliefs are a way of protecting the societies we live in. There is nothing innate about moral beliefs, the innateness comes from our emotional reactions to events, and our emotional reactions will have been effected by past experiences in our life. So yes, we shape our morality through our emotional reactions, which are innate (however, influenced by past experience and what we have been taught by our parents); but we shape our reactions through our preferred moral standing, so it is personal preference, not intuition.
Do not mistake my bluntness for stubbornness, I am willing to hear your side of this little debate, do not hesitate to criticise what I have stated.
Posted by gwinfrost 2 years ago
gwinfrost
@DraftyBasilisk: Different people have different levels of hormones such as oxytocin and testosterone which affect their behavior and aggressiveness and feelings of love. I agree that our moral values are very influenced by our role models and upbringing, but I was trying to explain how morality came to be in the first place.
Posted by DraftyBasilisk 2 years ago
DraftyBasilisk
Second argument is fallacious, objectivity and morality are not connected. Moral values are personal and subjective; a matter of opinion. Just because the idea of objective moral values exists and we are agreed on a lot of issues does not make objectivity a matter of fact. No matter how grim your examples get, there will be people in the world who are not agreed on the idea that it is 'evil' or 'good'. Intuitionism, as you are suggesting (the idea that we have moral intuitions) when put into practice would mean everybody held the exact same moral values from a young age; we do not. If anything, our moral values are shaped by our upbringing and role models, and differ greatly from the people around us.
Posted by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
@yoshindo, if you are going to make a claim, especially something regarding a supernatural being that you couldn't even possibly understand fully, why should we be forced to accept it as truth unless we can disprove it when you offer no evidence to prove that it is real?

If I tell you that I am capable of flying (on my own, with no mechanical or other flying device), will you believe me or ask me to show you? The onus is on me to prove my extraordinary claim to be true, not on you to prove that I can't.

If we were in a room and you told me someone was on the other side of the door, I would ask you how you know that. If your answer is that you can see a shadow under the door, I would be inclined to believe you because I can't also see the evidence. If you say you heard a person's voice, even if I didn't hear it, I could still be inclined to believe you, if i trust you, because that would be decent evidence to support your claim. But if you just said that you think someone is out there because there are so many people on this planet that it is likely that there is a person standing on the other side of the door, then I wouldn't believe you because all you are doing is making an assumption based on no real evidence.

People who believe in God generally do offer 'evidence', but it is hardly concrete. Pro in this debate shows how faulty the evidence is when he jumps to assuming God did it, even though that is not at all the only possible explanation, and it is by no means the most logical.
Posted by yoshidino 2 years ago
yoshidino
Revelation 3:20*
Posted by yoshidino 2 years ago
yoshidino
Con*
Posted by yoshidino 2 years ago
yoshidino
Com, if God com as me today to stop evil, you would be destroyed because of your evil thoughts and deeds. His mercy is what holds him back.
I'm also getting sick of the same tired argument, "you have no proud that he exists, do therefore he doesn't."
Seriously!? You believe that the center of the earth is full of hot magma, and yet no one has ever been there and come back to give proof.
If we were both in a room and I told you that there was someone on the other side of the door, you can't tell me that I'm wrong unless you open the door and look for yourself. I have no proof that he is there, but he still very well might be there. But for you to simply say he isn't there simply because I have no evidence is arrogant, blind, and foolish. Even if he is not there, you are still arrogant, blind, and foolish because you have no proof to show you either way. The only proof you will be able to get is if you go and open the door to see if someone is there. But until you do this, you would be arrogant and foolish to say he is not there.

Revelation 30:20;
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Christianity-Judeoism does indeed predate all other kinds of religion. In the garden of Eden God spoke to satan and told him that he would send one( Messiah) who would take his crown of authority he got from Adam and give it back to man. That someone was Jesus, the Christ( Messiah).And the reborn man is the beneficiary of that authority over sin, sickness, demons and fear.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
gwinfrost1CredoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Both parties presented their case in a thoughtful manner, so conduct is a tie. Same for s and g. As for arguments, some of Con's arguments were nonsensical and contradictory. For example, Con tried to use the "problem of evil" argument, then said objective morality doesn't exist. Con also dropped some of Pro's arguments, so arguments to Pro. Pro had more reliable sources.