The Instigator
TheTruthShallSetYouFree
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
KRFournier
Con (against)
Winning
47 Points

The Judeo-Christian God's Existence Is Just As Likely As Any Other God's Existence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,618 times Debate No: 8383
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (10)

 

TheTruthShallSetYouFree

Pro

I challenge KRFournier to a debate regarding how the existence of "Yahweh" is just as likely as the existence of "Zeus", "Osiris" or any other God.
KRFournier

Con

I appreciate my opponent taking the time to challenge me, and I we have a fruitful discussion.

To begin, I just want to be clear on my burden. Based on the resolution and my opponent's position, it appears that my goal is to show that the existence of the Christian God is more likely than the existence of other gods. I say this because his opening statement almost reads as if he were Con instead of Pro.

On a pragmatic note, I cannot possibly make a comparison between Christianity and all known religions of the past and present given character constraints. Therefore, I will limit my comparisons to the mythologies mentioned in my opponent's opening remarks for the time being.

When discussing likelihood, it helps to identify the criterion by which we can judge. If I were to venture a guess, my opponent and I could agree that a key criterion is that of evidentiary support. That is, that which has more evidentiary support is more likely than that with less. Therefore, I must show that Christianity has more evidence in its favor than does the other mythologies. This is not a burden to be taken lightly, but I feel it necessary to point out that it won't be necessary to prove beyond all doubt that God exists in order to win this debate. I only have to show that He is more likely to exist—or has more evidence in favor of His existing—than do other gods such as Zeus and Osiris.

One difference between Christianity and Greek/Egyptian mythology is in their written texts. The New Testament has some 24,000 manuscripts, some of which date as early as 25 to 50 years of their original autographs. The Iliad ranks second, in terms of reliability, with 643 known manuscripts dated within 500 years of the original copies. Scholars have determined the New Testament to be 99.5% accurate to the original writings whereas the Iliad is agreed to be 95% accurate. [1] On balance, it would seem that Christianity is at least a little more likely to be true than Greek mythology, if only just slightly so.

The gap widens when we consider total authorship. Much of Greek mythology is based on the writings of a single man, whereas the New Testament was written by several authors, none of whom are themselves the origin of the mythos. Homer wrote about the gods directly, but the New Testament authors wrote about Jesus, careful to site ways in which he fulfilled important Old Testament prophecies. Moreover, the multiple books of the New Testament add credibility, from a historian's point of view, since multiple accounts of any event serve to increase its likelihood. On balance, the New Testament is more likely to be true than Homer's writings.

The most striking comparison is made between the nature of the Christian God and the gods of Greek and Egyptian mythology. The Christian God is defined as existing outside this universe, unchanging, the one-true God, the ultimate manifestation of goodness and righteousness, perfect. The gods of ancient mythology are capricious, appear to be a part of the physical universe rather than outside of it, imperfect, often petty, and interact with humanity on a raw, physical level. What happened to these mischievous and cantankerous gods? Did they just suddenly lose interest in humanity? So, in mythology, we have a multitude of strange gods that abruptly stopped interacting with humanity. In Christianity, we have a God that sent a Savior to redeem His creation. Not everyone believes that Jesus is who he said he was, but it's at least more likely than the accounts of Greek mythology.

Another reason Christianity is more likely is because its presuppositions about reality better account for human experience than the presuppositions of mythology. If Greek mythology were true, what rationale would we have for scientific inquiry? Science couldn't possibly rely on the principle of induction (that the future will behave like the past) given the way these gods like to misbehave. On the other hand, if Christianity were true, science is completely justified. A perfectly ordered God made a fine-tuned and ordered universe that we can scientifically study, interpret, and dominate. The same could be said about morality, logic, and human dignity. Simply put, the presuppositions of Greek mythology cannot be actively and rationally lived out like the presuppositions of Christianity. So, Christianity as a worldview is certainly more likely to be true.

Finally, the Christian God is more likely to be true because it is the most believed. As of 2000 [2] (data base on the last census), 33% of the world believe in Christianity and only .4% believe in "other" religions, which I assume is where Greek/Egyption mythology adherents would fall, if there are any. Surely, any religion with such steady worldwide appeal is more likely than one that is overwhelmingly rejected.

It stands to reason, when looking at all the data, that Christianity has more evidence in its favor than Greek or Egyptian mythology. And so while the evidence presented in my opening argument doesn't prove God's existence beyond all doubt, it certainly shows that God is more likely to exist than Zeus or Osiris, which should be sufficient to satisfy the resolution as worded. I'll turn the floor now to my opponent for his arguments and rebuttals.

1. http://www.godandscience.org...
2. http://www.religioustolerance.org...
Debate Round No. 1
TheTruthShallSetYouFree

Pro

My opponent has dodged the question. What he must disprove to win the debate is not that the Judeo-Christian God is more likely to exist than the 2 gods I used as examples, but instead disprove that "The Judeo-Christian God's Existence Is Just As Likely As Any Other God's Existence". All he compared the Judeo-Christian god to was the two examples I used in round one. He must show EVIDENCE that the Judeo-Christian god is MORE LIKELY to exist than ANY other god that has been believed in the history of mankind. Also, my opponent talked about the accuracy of the text of the bible compared to the holy books of other religions (Iliad, etc). Just because one holy book (the bible in this case) is 5% more accurate than a holy book of another religion, does not mean the bible's god is more likely to exist over the other god. Also, about the god being more likely to exist because more people believe in it. This is NOT PROOF that is is more likely to exist. During early Egyptian times, the gods of the Egyptian religion were more worshiped than the christian god (considering the christian god technically had not been "created" yet). Just because more people believe in 1 god over another, it doesn't mean the god is more likely to exist. Also in the future, if another God becomes more believed than the Judeo-Christian God, does that mean that God is then more likely to exist?

Also, I wish to ask you a few questions...
1- If the Judeo-Christian God exists over all other gods, why are the jews and christians any more blessed than people of other world religions?
2- Why does this god not make his existence more evident? He has shown no proof that he exists over gods of every other major world religions. If he is the head-honcho why not make it clear once-and-for-all that all others are false idols?
KRFournier

Con

I thank my opponent for his quick rebuttal.

Given my opening round, I think it's clear I made an attempt to negate the resolution within practical constraints. Indeed, the resolution states I must show God is more likely that all others in the whole of history. However, I had hoped my opponent would see the impossibility of such a task given our character limits. Thus, I chose to focus on the ones he mentioned, expecting him to follow up with more gods in later rounds. I even explain why I could only argue a subset of gods, and yet he accuses me of dodging the question. While he is technically right, he is essentially hiding behind an impossible resolution so he does not have to worry about actually debating anything.

To further illustrate this, he does not offer any arguments whatsoever as to why the Christian God is as likely as any other god. He is Pro in this debate is he not? I have offered my counter-evidence and he has offered only rebuttals, and weak ones at that.

He starts by saying that a 5% difference in the reliability of the Bible versus the Iliad is not proof. Indeed, it is not; I never said it was. I am certain the resolution states "more likely" rather than "most definitely." The reason I mentioned textual accuracy early in my argument is because it is the weakest of all evidence. I admit that. But it is one piece of evidence (no matter how weak) combined with the evidence I provide further. In other words, I mount the evidence up in my entire argument to show that the Christian God is at least "more likely" to exist than the others. I only have to show "more likely" to win, and I explained that in my opening round when I pointed out that more evidentiary support is a criterion for "more likely." Since he did not question this assertion, I can only assume he agrees.

He goes on to point out that belief in a God does not make it more likely. Again, this is but one piece of evidence not to be treated as though it stands completely alone. The fact that people continue to convert to Christianity shows its believability—its cogency—over and above other religions. While it's not certain proof, it shows that at best Christianity is more likely to be true than Greek mythology. Even if it is false, on balance, Christianity is more believable and, therefore, more likely than mythology.

It's important to note that attacking two pieces of evidence does not refute my position. He did not rebut my evidence regarding authorship, the differences in the natures of the gods, or the presuppositional shortcomings of mythology. In short, I offered five pieces of evidence, and he only attacked my two weakest ones, and even then not very well.

-----

My opponent asked me three questions:

"Also in the future, if another God becomes more believed than the Judeo-Christian God, does that mean that God is then more likely to exist?"

Not necessarily, it depends on the other evidence as well. It would certainly mean that, on balance, the Judeo-Christian God has evidence against it rather than for it. This is one piece of evidence, however, and I offered more than just this one. All the evidence must be evaluated together, not in compartmentalized pieces.

"If the Judeo-Christian God exists over all other gods, why are the jews and christians any more blessed than people of other world religions?"

The term "blessing" is ambiguous. Do you mean material wealth or personal happiness? The greatest blessing of all, in my view, would be eternal life in heaven. In that context, Christians are more blessed than others having received grace and salvation made possible in Christ.

"Why does this god not make his existence more evident? He has shown no proof that he exists over gods of every other major world religions. If he is the head-honcho why not make it clear once-and-for-all that all others are false idols?"

Presuming God exists, this is not a question I have access to. Why and how God chooses to reveal himself in the way that he has is ultimately a mystery that belongs only to Him. I suppose he could show up right now and settle the matter, but if he is God as described in the Bible, then it wouldn't be a good event for most since he would bring absolute judgment with him. The Bible gives us some glimpse into why he's revealed himself as he has:

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20)

The Apostle Paul claims that God has made himself sufficiently known, insofar as men will not be without excuse. Having use the Bible to answer this question, I'm sure my opponent will object. But the God I am defending is defined by the Bible, and this is the only way to answer the question without being arbitrary.

-----

In conclusion, my opponent's second round was not utilized to his fullest benefit. He attacked two pieces of evidence and three other, much stronger pieces of evidence unexamined. He accuses me of not fulfilling a resolution that, for all practical purposes, cannot be fulfilled in a DDO debate. Lastly, he doesn't offer any evidence in support of his own position. I ask the readers to use their judgment in determine who has been the better debater.

With that, I give the floor back to my opponent for his closing round.
Debate Round No. 2
TheTruthShallSetYouFree

Pro

TheTruthShallSetYouFree forfeited this round.
KRFournier

Con

My opponent has forfeited his final round, thus relegating all our efforts into the black hole of unfinished debates. For those that do stumble upon this debate, note that my arguments remain unexamined by my opponent. Furthermore, he never offered evidence for his own position. All this coupled with a forfeit should be sufficient grounds to vote in my favor.

Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to read our arguments and for thoughtfully casting your votes.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
Thank you. Your open-mindedness is much appreciated.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Ok thanks for the information. I will change it to con.
Posted by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
Conor, how you use your Conduct vote is up to you, but this is how I think about it. It takes time and effort to submit a round. A single forfeit means the debate will not appear with the other debates on the main page, so now it's likely to get less reads and votes. In essence, much of the effort is loss, so I consider it disrespectful. It's far more courteous to submit your round even if only to explain the forfeit round and apologize, so at least the debate will get more exposure.
Posted by Brock_Meyer 7 years ago
Brock_Meyer
C: Con.
S&G: Tie.
A: Pro.
S: Tied.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Before: Con
After: Pro
Conduct: Tie (even though Pro forfeited. Am I supposed to consider that conduct?)
S and G: Tie
C A: Pro
Reliable Sources: Pro (Con's sources were inevitably biased, which caused me to go to Pro for better sources, despite the fact he had none).
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Defaulted CON due to poorly placed forfeit.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Yep:

http://www.debate.org...

God stands at roughly: 2,301,427
Posted by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
"God, the ultimate manifestation of goodness and righteousness, perfect. The gods of ancient mythology are capricious" - Con

Wtf. I think Judeo-Christian God's kill count surpasses any gods of the Greeks, or any god for that matter.

.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Lol - it MUST be the end of days, eh?
Posted by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
Reprimanded by Tarzan for not better arguing that God is likely to exist. What is the world coming to. :)

Your point is well taken, though I inched closed to this point when dealing with presuppositions.
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Vote Placed by Chrysippus 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
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