The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
SplinterMBA
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The LDS Concept of Faith is Irrational.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 8/6/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,344 times Debate No: 78428
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (58)
Votes (3)

 

kasmic

Pro

Resolved: The LDS Concept of Faith is "Unreasonable"

Defning Terms:

LDS: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka Mormons

Unreasonable: "without the faculty of reason; deprived of reason."(1)

Clarification:

Faith is not defined in round one as surely the definition will be a point of contention. It is likely that any judging this debate will be unaware of what the LDS conception of faith is. Thus I want to leave this open for debate through-out.

I accept the full burden of proof to demonstrate that the LDS concept of faith is irrational. Thus Con's role in this debate is to negate my arguements.

For reference throughout the debate, here is the official LDS website. (2)

Format:


4 rounds/72 Hours/6,000 Characters ELO Restrictions 2,000 to vote

Select Winner Voting

Round 1: Defining terms and acceptance
Round 2: Opening arguement/first rebuttal
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Overview of debate and closing statements (No new arguements)


Sources:

(1)http://dictionary.reference.com......
(2) www.lds.org

SplinterMBA

Con

I accept to argue against the claim, 'The LDS concept of Faith is unreasonable.'

While I agree that faith is irrational -- wonderfully, beautifully, and deliberately irrational. The LDS concept of faith is also remarkably reasonable.

Faith can be defined and exercised in different capacities and to different ends. The LDS (Latter Day Saint) concept of faith has many similarities to general definitions, but with important nuances that make the LDS concept not only reasonable, but the most reasonable concept of faith in modern times.

To make my argument, I will contrast three different concepts of faith:

1. The LDS concept.
2. The Born Again Christian concept.
3. The atheist concept.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

I am honored to be your first debate! Welcome to DDO and good luck.

Argumentation:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints places Faith as the first Principle of the gospel. How is faith defined and taught?

In Hebrews 11: 1 we read
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (1) Notice the lack of evidence is inherent in the definition provided of faith. Alma 32: 21 from the Book of Mormon saysfaith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” (2) Finally from LDS.org we read that to have faith is toshow.. hope for something that we cannot yet see.”(3)

From this we see that the LDS concept of faith is to hope for things that are unseen. Things that the evidence for is absent. As stated in the Book of Mormon “faith is not a perfect knowledge.” This is ironic as if by chance you were to visit an LDS congregation during a testimony meeting you will likely hear people state that they “know” the Book of Mormon is true, or that they “know” the Church is true. Usually such proclamations are given along with phrases like “with every fiber of my being…” and “without a shadow of a doubt.” I have often wondered how many members realize or notice this incoherency. Do they “know” or do they have “faith?”

As much as it may seem pedantic or overkill to quote a dictionary, it is worth doing in this case. Evidence is “that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.”(4) Thus we see that the notion of “walking by faith, and not by sight” (5) is to believe in something without grounds for belief. This is clearly nonsensical. Can I tell you to walk without the means to walk, or to see without the ability to see? Surely not, but here the concept of faith is just that. To believe when one should not.

Either 12: 6 in the Book of Mormon states “I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not… “ (6) Essentially in LDS culture to lack faith, or to dispute things without evidence is to be discouraged. The only way to know that faith based claims are true is to believe them without evidence and reject doubt as a weakness.

We see than that faith is unreasonable.

The great danger in faith is the blind obedience that accompanies it. In James 2:17-18 we read that “Faith without works is dead.”(7) Thus it is not enough to profess belief in something without grounds to believe, you must act on it. Let say, for example, I have faith that the world is to end tomorrow. This means that despite lack of evidence of any kind I believe that the world is to end. I must now act in a way that demonstrates this belief. No matter what evidence is provided, rational reasoning, persuasion or whatever, doesn’t matter. “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than man” I am to have my faith override all. (8) This makes those acting on faith unable to be reasoned with… unreasonable.

Overview:


I have shown using entirely LDS sources that the concept of faith taught in the way that they teach it is unreasonable. Additionally it causes those who adopt it to act unreasonably.

There is no rational way to contend with a religious concept that requires "faith." This is because Faith as taught by the LDS church is unreasonable. To close out my space in this round I would like to present Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s new clothes.”

A vain Emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "hopelessly stupid". The Emperor's ministers cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspects the assertion is true, but continues the procession.” (9)

The issue of Faith is much like the “clothes” in the story. I have repeatedly pointed out the issue of faith to which, the “faithful”, like the emperor must see this issue, but choose to ignore it or don’t mind believing a bare assertion or acting unreasonably.

With that I send it back to con.

Sources:

(1) https://www.lds.org...
(2) https://www.lds.org...

(3) https://www.lds.org...
(4) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(5) https://www.lds.org...
(6)
https://www.lds.org...
(7) https://www.lds.org...
(8) https://www.lds.org...
(9) https://en.wikipedia.org...

SplinterMBA

Con

Rebuttal:

Your definition of faith is on-point, but what it is missing is an important distinction. First, I should reiterate that in LDS theology "Faith without works is dead." (James 2:26) James explains further, "Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (James 2:18) This is important because to the LDS people, faith is action. Faith cannot exist without works. Faith is not a belief. Faith is the actions that follow beliefs.

Let"s review an important parable from the Book of Mormon:

"Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves"It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me." (Alma 32:28)

This parable is a description of a spiritual experiment as stated a bit later:

"Yea, even that ye would have so much faith as even to plant the word in your hearts, that ye may try the experiment of its goodness." Alma 34:4

I argue that faith in the LDS concept is actually an epistemology, or a "theory of knowing."

In plain English - You can know that a principle is true, if you try it with the utmost commitment, and you can see that promised spiritual results occur.

To use your example of the testimony meeting " a member could truthfully pronounce from the pulpit that he 'knows' the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

How?

He read the book (the word). He put those words into practice (experimenting on the word) and he noticed a positive change in his life. These positive changes could be good feelings, more self-confidence, clearer thinking, less fear, and countless other spiritual benefits. And because faith is action, practicing this kind of faith will also lead to tangible benefits. For example, if I serve my fellow man by helping my neighbor fix his fence, then I will learn new skills, get exercise, meet new people, etc"

By practicing a 'theory of knowing,' he can state honestly that they "know."

A reasonable person could conclude that if following a religious principle improves his quality of life, he should continue to follow that principle. In fact it would be unreasonable to stop doing something which results in positive benefits.

The beauty of this epistemology is that the required experiment is personal. The evidence cannot be shared. Each individual must conduct their own spiritual experiment to witness the results. This is why Mormons stand up in church to express the truths they know through following the prescribed epistemology. This is the only way to encourage others to experiment for themselves and see the results for themselves.

If someone in the congregation is just going though the motions (seeing naked emperors) it doesn't mean the epistemology is any less valid. That would be like saying that the 'Piltdown Man' fossil hoax (5) proves the theory of evolution wrong. Just because one 'believer' is deceiving himself doesn't mean the entire theory is invalid.

Your argument might work against the faith of a Born Again Christian, where one would simply profess "Jesus is lord" and they are "saved." This faith requires no action other than the statement itself. This is unreasonable, because it is missing the continued action that results in actual spiritual benefits.

Your argument might also work regarding the faith of an atheist. Or rather faith in nothing. An atheist still hopes for and believes that there is nothing after death. Thus an atheist would act on that assumption (exercising faith) and receive no such personal, spiritual benefits.

Spiritual experiments reap spiritual evidence. Action brings results. And that is why the LDS concept of faith is reasonable.

I realize that spiritual evidence is simply unacceptable to someone who doesn"t believe. So let"s break it all down in a different way.

The placebo effect is an actual phenomenon in where a person takes fake medicine but achieves real results. You can read all about Harvard Magazines study on the phenomenon. (6)

In some instances a doctor could prescribe an actual medication, or a placebo. If the results are the same, would be reasonable to prescribe the placebo because it lacks the negative side-effects and is more cost-effective.

One would have to also reason that there are millions of active LDS people world-wide who act on faith because they perceive a benefit from doing so. This perception encourages the active LDS population to continue doing good works that benefit members and non-members alike. Take a look at the LDS Church"s humanitarian aid fact sheet. (7) These good works would not happen in this capacity without the LDS concept of faith. Regardless if this is the placebo effect or if it is blessings from God, there is a tangible good that comes from the LDS concept of faith. So one couldn't call those who follow such a concept unreasonable. They are only acting in their own best interest.

Sound reasonable?

Sources:
1.https://www.lds.org...
2.https://www.lds.org...
3.https://www.lds.org...
4.https://www.lds.org...
5. http://www.pbs.org...
6.http://harvardmagazine.com...
7.https://www.lds.org...
Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Pro

Con says my “definition of faith is on-point” however, then proceeds to give several more definitions. He says “to the LDS people, faith is action. Faith cannot exist without works. Faith is not a belief. Faith is the actions that follow beliefs.” This is clearly not the case via the definitions provided. The example my opponent gives is the quote from James that says “I will shew thee my faith by my works.” In other words the action that follows faith. Works are the impact of having faith, not faith itself. It is incoherent to say that faith is not a belief and say that my definitions are on-point.

Con then refers to the parable in Alma 32 concluding that “faith in the LDS concept is actually an epistemology, or a "theory of knowing." Again this is not coherent with what has already been shared. This “spiritual experiment” is the action required to “grow” faith. The process by which to grow something is not that something itself. The process of growing a tree is not a tree itself, and the process of growing faith is not faith itself. Because of this, con’s thoughts of the parable are not on-point, rather they miss the mark. In fact the verses quoted are “the theory of increasing faith.”

Con says “In plain English - You can know that a principle is true, if you try it with the utmost commitment, and you can see that promised spiritual results occur.”

I spent years of my life trying my “utmost” to commitment. The promised spiritual results did not occur. Now I realize this is an appeal to personal experience, but as my opponent has suggested that personal commitment is the only way to know (“if you try it…. you can see…”) it is sufficient response to negate the appeal to personal revelation.

Next is listed an example of how someone may “know.” Again I quote from the same chapter of the Book of Mormon “
faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things.” Again it is worth noting that con has said my definitions of faith are on point and here is clearly stated that faith is not a perfect knowledge. Knowing something and having faith in something is then two separate things. Vs. 34 of the same chapter states “Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant (1)

This is a perfect example of how the LDS concept of faith is incoherent. We have established it is LDS theology that if you have a perfect knowledge your faith is dormant. God supposedly has a perfect knowledge, and yet it is taught that he created the world through faith. (2) It becomes clear from this example that though members of the LDS faith accept both as true, they are inconsistent. Thus to believe both is incoherent and unreasonable.

For much of the remainder of the debate con lists that he finds my argument compelling against born again Christians. This is a welcome endorsement.

Con states “I realize that spiritual evidence is simply unacceptable to someone who doesn"t believe.” This is the crux of this debate. I tried to believe my whole life and find it at odds with what I can observe to be true.

The placebo effect is an interesting addition to this debate. If faith is a placebo that only means that a few people may seemingly have positive effects from it… this does not make it reasonable, rational, or ideal. It just makes it a placebo.

Lastly my opponent makes an appeal to population. Millions cant be wrong can they? Sure they can. People have believed many things through the ages by the millions. For example, the belief that the world was flat, or the center of the universe. Just because many people believe something does not imply truth and in this case does not imply reason.

Overview:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… is not a perfect knowledge… hope for things unseen.”

Evidence is “that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.”

Thus, A plain understanding of faith is to believe in something without grounds for belief.

Therefore, The LDS Concept of Faith is incoherent, irrational, and unreasonable.


Sources:

(1) https://www.lds.org...
(2) https://www.lds.org...

SplinterMBA

Con

Pro's definition is on-point but not complete.

This is in no way a contradictory statement. Defining "the LDS concept of faith" is far more in-depth than citing a few scriptures. Especially when most of those scriptures are from the Bible. To reinforce my explanation I will quote the official church doctrine.

"The Apostle Paul taught that "faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Alma made a similar statement: "If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true" (Alma 32:21). Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever we work toward a worthy goal, we exercise faith. We show our hope for something that we cannot yet see." (1)

This is a complete definition according to church doctrine that includes pro's definition and my addendum to his definition. So yes, you were on point, but not complete.

Describing the sky as blue is on point, but it also gradated and is often spotted with white clouds.

In the LDS concept of faith, there is a big difference between "knowing" by faith and "having a perfect knowledge."
Elder Richard G. Scott, one of the LDS apostles, explains how to gain spiritual knowledge.

"As you seek spiritual knowledge, search for principles. Carefully separate them from the detail used to explain them. Principles are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances. A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and compelling circumstances. It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle. I have tried to do that with gaining spiritual knowledge. The result is now shared in hope that it will be a beginning place for your study. That statement of principle is:
To acquire spiritual knowledge and to obey it with wisdom, one must:
" In humility, seek divine light.
" Exercise faith in Jesus Christ.
" Hearken to His counsel.
" Keep His commandments.
As spiritual knowledge unfolds, it must be understood, valued, obeyed, remembered, and expanded." (2)

Elder Scott is describing how a normal person can apply the epistemology to gain spiritual knowledge. Once this kind of knowledge is obtained, one could truthfully say "I know (insert principle) is true."

"Perfect knowledge" is a term that comes up quite often in church doctrine. In short, "perfect knowledge" is the ultimate goal of faith as Richard C. Edgley explains.

"But while I don"t know everything, I know the important. I know the plain and simple gospel truths that lead to salvation and exaltation. I know that the Savior did suffer the pain of all men and that all repentant people can be cleansed from sin. And what I don"t know or don"t completely understand, with the powerful aid of my faith, I bridge the gap and move on, partaking of the promises and blessings of the gospel. And then, as Alma teaches, our faith brings us to a perfect knowledge (see Alma 32:34). By moving forward into the unknown, armed only with hope and desire, we show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord." (3)

The Prophet Joseph Smith (or founder of the LDS church to the unbelieving) explains that for a man to achieve a perfect knowledge "He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God." (4)

There are very, very few people who will obtain a "perfect knowledge" in their mortal life, but eventually as members continue to act in faith, they are promised that they will receive a perfect knowledge. At that point, faith no longer is needed.

Pro stated "God supposedly has a perfect knowledge, and yet it is taught that he created the world through faith."

This statement is unwarranted and untrue. I followed pro"s citation is states: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (5)

Pro clearly misread or misunderstood the scripture.

Faith is how we understand, or know, God created the world. God didn"t create the world through faith because God has a perfect knowledge. God, via Jesus Christ, created the world with the power of the priesthood. As stated in church doctrine

"Jesus Christ created this world and everything in it. He also created many other worlds. He did so through the power of the priesthood, under the direction of our Heavenly Father." (6)

Because pro uses anecdotal evidence in an attempt to warrant his claim, I will also use my own anecdote:

I had my doubts about the church in high school. I decided read the Book of Mormon. I prayed with real intent to know if it was true. And I had an intense moment of clarity and peace that I know came from my heavenly father. I have a spiritual knowledge that it is true, because I cannot in good conscience deny the feeling I had. I never saw God, or heard his voice, so I cannot claim to have a perfect knowledge. And that is ok. I have a valuable spiritual knowledge that I continue to build upon and it improves my life dramatically.

To be clear. I don"t want to disparage pro"s personal experience, or lack thereof. It takes time, and persistence to receive spiritual knowledge.

At the very least, my anecdote against your anecdote eliminates either at proof. Pro did state that he accepts the full burden of proof, so this is enough to dismiss this argument.
Pro also miss characterizes my final point saying "Just because many people believe something does not imply truth and in this case does not imply reason."

I never argued that many people make something right, but the vast and well documents positive actions of those people do provide evidence that something reasonable is happening within that movement.

We are not debating whether the church is true or not. We are debating that the LDS concept of faith is reasonable.
I've shown that the LDS concept of faith has a track record - millions deep. And pro has simply not met his burden of proof.
Debate Round No. 3
kasmic

Pro

Thank you con for this debate. You have been a wonderful opponent.

Overview of my Case:


1: Defining Faith

Con’s full definition provided accepts what I have provided. It also demonstrates his additions to not be part of the definition. For example, Faith being a principle of action or exercising faith is the impact of having faith, not faith itself.

Faith is defined in LDS theology as
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… is not a perfect knowledge… hope for things unseen.”

Evidence is “that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.”

Thus, a plain understanding of faith is to believe in something without grounds for belief.

Therefore, using a simple relation of terms and deductive reasoning we see that the LDS Concept of Faith is incoherent, irrational, and unreasonable.


2: God Created the World through Faith


Con claims that “Faith is how we understand, or know, God created the world. God didn"t create the world through faith because God has a perfect knowledge.”

Con concedes that God could not create the world through Faith and have a perfect knowledge as this would be a contradiction of LDS Theology. This is expressly not what is taught in LDS doctrine. As I argued previously, LDS doctrine is that the world was created through faith. Consider the following…

“faith is the moving cause of all action”(1)

According to LDS theology all actions taken are faith based. This is Inclusive of any action taken by God.

“By this we understand that the principle of power, which existed in the bosom of God, by which the worlds were framed, was faith; and that it is by reason of this principle of power, existing in the Deity, that all created things exist-so that all things in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, exist by reason of faith, as it existed in HIM… Had it not been for the principle of faith the worlds would never have been framed, neither would man have been formed of the dust--it is the principle by which Jehovah works, and through which he exercises power over all temporal, as well as eternal things. Take this principle or attribute, (for it is an attribute) from the Deity and he would cease to exist…. Who cannot see, that if God framed the worlds by faith, that it is by faith that he exercises power over them, and that faith is the principle of power? And that if the principle of power, it must be so in man as well as in the Deity? This is the testimony of all the sacred writers, and the lesson which they have been endeavoring to teach to man.” (1)

As I argued previously, This is a perfect example of how the LDS concept of faith is incoherent. We have established it is LDS theology that if you have a perfect knowledge your faith is dormant. God supposedly has a perfect knowledge, and yet it is taught that he created the world through faith. Believing such an incoherent principle is unreasonable.

Overview of Con’s arguments:

1: Appeal to population

Con states that “he never argued that many people make something right, but the vast and well documents positive actions of those people do provide evidence that something reasonable is happening within that movement.”

This is clearly a non-sequitur. Do not people who are absent of the faith of the LDS also do vast good and have positive actions that they take. Thus it is clear that it does not follow to tie such actions to the LDS concept of Faith.

Con’s conclusion of this argument is “I've shown that the LDS concept of faith has a track record - millions deep.” We see however that the “track record” does not only apply to members of the LDS church that ascribe to a particular faith.

Conclusion:

I have shown con’s argument to be a non-sequitur and an appeal to population. Even if you buy his argument it is only inductive. It is heavily outwiedghed as my two arguments stand and are deductively sound. We see that the LDS concept of faith is incoherent and thus unreasonable.

Thanks for reading. Vote Pro.

(1) http://www.mormonbeliefs.com...

SplinterMBA

Con

Pro, this has been a fun debate. Thank you for picking the topic and being willing to change the word 'irrational' to unreasonable.'

Unfortunately, Pro"s understanding of church doctrine and interpretation is incorrect.
"The world was framed by faith." This is true, but let me explain.

It"s important to understand that in LDS theology, every plant, animal, person and element have a soul. These souls have faith in Christ. So, when God commands, by the power of the priesthood, that the world should be created, the elements obey by faith. They act in faith. Faith in Christ.

God didn"t have faith. Everything had faith in God and he used the power of the priesthood to command everything. Yes, the worlds were "framed by faith." God commanded, and the elements obeyed through faith.

This is how Moses parted the Red Sea. This is how Christ walked on water. The elements had faith and obeyed. They acted just as we act in faith to donate money and build churches and temples and provide humanitarian aid. These things were all "framed by faith in God."

Now read Pro"s quote again:
"By this we understand that the principle of power, which existed in the bosom of God, by which the worlds were framed, was faith; and that it is by reason of this principle of power, existing in the Deity, that all created things exist-so that all things in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, exist by reason of faith, as it existed in HIM" Had it not been for the principle of faith the worlds would never have been framed, neither would man have been formed of the dust--it is the principle by which Jehovah works, and through which he exercises power over all temporal, as well as eternal things. Take this principle or attribute, (for it is an attribute) from the Deity and he would cease to exist". Who cannot see, that if God framed the worlds by faith, that it is by faith that he exercises power over them, and that faith is the principle of power? And that if the principle of power, it must be so in man as well as in the Deity? This is the testimony of all the sacred writers, and the lesson which they have been endeavoring to teach to man."

George A.Tate explains further:
"The world came into being at God"s command; it was populated by all manner of living forms that set about to fill the measure of their creation. But in another sense, creation is ongoing, since its aim has not been fulfilled. If it is God"s "work and [his] glory" to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (see Moses 1:39), creation is not complete until we have fulfilled the measure of our creation." (1)

He continues:
"Human work, however modest, is part of ongoing creation. The creation is not complete, it does not reach its plenitude without our collaboration, our laboring with the Lord in his work, without what we do and what we create. This includes not only the great works of the past like the tragedies of Sophocles, the Cathedral of Chartres, and Bach"s Mass in B Minor, but also all the products of our minds and hands, from the lowliest to the best." (1)
LDS theology is perfectly coherent. One just needs the whole definition, rather than carefully selected bits.
So even if an atheist looks at the LDS concept of faith. One would have to admit that there is a product of faith. There is a physical, tangible product that directly results from the LDS concept of faith.

Ultimately, the resolve is stated: The LDS Concept of Faith is Unreasonable.

Pro has used contrived logic to try to support this claim. Just because one doesn't understand all of the church doctrine doesn't mean that doctrine is unreasonable.

The human experience cannot be had by a purely rationale thinking being (robot). Human kind reasons through the lens of instinct and lust and passion and pride. Though these are not rational, they are certainly reasonable for human kind to participate in, because they enrich the human experience. These things improve life.

When a Mormon helps his neighbor because he feels it is a commandment to do so, he does something tangible that he would otherwise not have done. He does it through faith. The more people acting, the more "works" they do. So one doesn"t need to believe in the LDS concept of faith, or believe in God at all, to see that the LDS concept of faith is reasonable to Mormons who want to improve their lives and improve their world, because they receive a benefit from doing so. These people are using a 'theory of knowing' to make these kind of judgements and act on them.

It is very closed-minded to assume that the scientific method is the only way for man reason.

Theist or atheist alike, please vote for reason.

(1) https://speeches.byu.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
58 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SplinterMBA 1 year ago
SplinterMBA
Awesome! I will give it a read.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
There are many people on this site that could demolish me in this debate. Whiteflame is one of them though I dont think he would debate me on this topic as it is "LDS" specific and not a policy debate haha.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
I am doing this same debate with Varrack.
Posted by SplinterMBA 1 year ago
SplinterMBA
Whiteflame - Fair enough. My loss is my own. I agree.

I would like a better debater to succeed where I have failed. Does anybody else want to give this one a go with Kasmic? I would like to see that this debate is winnable, and then I can steal those arguments. ;)
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
I don't think you should take away from this that "this debate [was] unwinnable", or that your only means of obtaining a win was to differentiate between the definitions of unreasonable and irrational. You didn't have to prove God's existence in order to win this debate, either. You could easily have argued that rationalism is a better model for determining whether something is reasonable or rational than is empiricism, and turned this debate into a clash of frameworks. Honestly, I think that's where you were going with your arguments, you just needed a solid framework on which to build them.
Posted by SplinterMBA 1 year ago
SplinterMBA
Whiteflame & Kozu, I guess I will have to agree to disagree. I'm just trying to point out that there is this double standard when it comes to reason and religion vs reason and any other unknown. The absence of proof isn't the proof of absence. So we all just reason to the best of our ability regardless.

Had I done this debate over, I would have argued that unreasonable and irrational are not the same thing, especially when this is a philosophical debate. The English language has nuances that make a world of difference.

Having said that, I realize this debate is unwinnable. So I don't expect to change any minds, I just thought I'd defend my logic. So thank you both for humoring me by reading my argument.
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
@Splinter

I think many of the religious would disagree. Some will claim the bible is evidence of god, some may claim an objective morality. No one believes in anything for no reason, here I'm just evaluating if those who follow the LDS concept of faith have reached enough evidence for their faith to be "reasonable". Well, going off this debate at least.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
Splinter, the problem is that evidence of human reasoning coming from the good acts that result from a given faith don't prove that the faith itself is reasonable. People showing that they reason well how to apply their faith as a means to do good works isn't enough to negate the resolution. This isn't a question of bias - we're following what the resolution says. You made a good argument for why having faith is a good thing, and why it can produce reasonable ends, but not why the faith itself is reasonable, and that was the chief problem. You can't extricate belief in God from the faith aspect.
Posted by SplinterMBA 1 year ago
SplinterMBA
I just thought I'd mention that this debate isn't about weather God exists or not. Yes, you can do great things despite your motivation. I know of nobody who actually is doing any good works in the name a cthulhu. However, there are actually people doing good things, based on faith, that they would otherwise not be doing. That is no evidence for God, but it is certainly evidence of human reasoning. There is also no evidence to support that nothing happens after death, but atheists reason that there isn't, and theists reason that there is.

Really, all this is about is what kind of reasoning you prefer, and where your bias' are.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
kasmicSplinterMBA
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I suppose the dissonance I'm having with Con's argument is that he's continually justifying his argument by stating that what's rational (or reasonable) about this faith is that it produces such great things, but I'm constantly stuck wondering why this makes the faith itself reasonable. Sure, the belief unites people, and that belief may be couched in something that actually exists, but that doesn't mean that the faith as a whole is itself reasonable. Con gives a lot of solid argumentation for why certain beliefs under that faith may be reasonable, and I get that the faith results in substantial good for the world, but neither of those is the basis of this debate. Con really had to attack this on a different level because Pro's argument that there must always be a lack of evidence for faith to persist stands to the end. It might be worth your while to read about rationalism, which is a counter to Pro's empiricism arguments, and employ that in future rounds to challenge the framework.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Blade-of-Truth
kasmicSplinterMBA
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I think this was a solid, and straightforward debate. My vote goes to kasmic though. The reason is that Con never showed that faith isn't irrational, whereas Pro successfully showed that it was. Con additional agrees, right from the start, that faith is irrational, meaning that he literally agree's with Pro's position on this resolution - the usage of the term unreasonable doesn't change much either since it's a synonym of irrational. Regardless of Con technically agreeing with Pro's position from the start, there are some other clear indicators of Pro's dominance in this debate though. For instance, Pro showed how one cannot rightfully "know" something without evidence to support such knowledge. To claim to know something without evidence is nonsensical, and Con was never able to overcome that point. Instead, arguing that faith is the actions that follow belief. He never really fleshed this point out, and was easily rebutted by Pro in the following round. All in all, clear win for Pro
Vote Placed by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
kasmicSplinterMBA
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I'll be honest. I want to vote Pro simply because Con says in R1 "[...] I agree that faith is irrational ". That's the end of the debate. For the sake of feedback though I'll explain why I vote pro even if I hadn't read that. So what is the LDS *concept* of faith? Con doesn't dispute Pro's suggestion that its ""hope for something that we cannot yet see."", but this itself is irrational. Con does attempt to convince us that the results of faith have benefits, and I accept that, but it doesn't detract from the inherent irrationality of the LDS's concept of "faith". Pro really couldn't lose as long as Con accepted his definition of faith. I should note for Con that this argument wasn't unique to the LDS concept, but could very well apply to the majority of religions including Christianity or Islam.