The Instigator
RightWingConspiracyGuy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
CD-Host
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

The One True God as Described in the Christian Bible Exists

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
CD-Host
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/7/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,377 times Debate No: 17813
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)

 

RightWingConspiracyGuy

Pro

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT ACCEPT THIS DEBATE UNLESS YOU ARE A TRUE, ZEALOUS AND WELL-INFORMED ATHEIST.


The issue of God’s existence is arguably the most important one in the world, and I therefore desire an intelligent, informative, and respectful debate on the subject. Unless you are able to facilitate such a discussion, do not accept this debate.


Another disclaimer: This will be a primarily philosophical debate, focused on conceptual arguments rather than statistical analyses. So while statistics and other factual claims do of course have their place, my opponent should know that the emphasis of this debate will be on more philosophical arguments. And so, again, if you not prepared to debate in this manner, do not accept this debate.


Finally, a few preconditions to facilitate healthy and informative debate:



  1. Drops count as concessions.

  2. No new arguments will be allowed in the final round.


And with that, I will present my affirmative case:


INTRODUCTION


Nearly every argument I have heard for the nonexistence of God consists of some archaeological fact or another, immediately followed by a conclusion: “X, therefore God doesn’t exist. I win. VOTE CON!” However, in this debate, I will prove the existence of God by proving that knowledge of any kind is impossible without first assuming God’s existence, I therefore present the following contentions:


CONTENTION 1: THE UNIFORMITY OF NATURE CAN ONLY BE ACCOUNTED FOR IN A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW.


The study of science is based on the assumption that nature, to a certain extent is uniform. If experiments performed exactly the same way under the exact same conditions sometimes produced one result, and sometimes another, contradictory on, science would be pointless; it would be impossible to prove anything by it. And so for anything to be scientifically concluded, we must first assume the uniformity of nature. The Christian has a legitimate, coherent reason to make that assumption: It is laid out in the Bible.



  1. “(God), being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of His power…” –Hebrews 1:3 (emphasis added)

  2. “God [is] not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” –Numbers 23:19

  3. “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, day and night Shall not cease." –Genesis 8:22


From these verses, we can clearly see that God upholds the processes of the Earth by his power, and that he does so consistently, as he promised us in his Word, thus giving the Christian more than enough reason to believe in the uniformity of nature, based on a Biblical worldview.


However, the atheist is not in such a convenient position. As I have previously said, nearly all of the arguments against God’s existence have relied on a scientific conclusion. And so I find it ironic that, in reality, the atheist has absolutely no basis for belief in the uniformity of nature, the foundation of science. Christians have the Supreme Being to tell them why they can expect nature to be uniform, but what does the atheist have? Nothing. There is literally no reason whatsoever for nature to be uniform absent God’s existence. The only thing an atheist could say in his defense is “nature has obviously always been uniform in the past, and therefore there is adequate reason to believe it will be uniform in the future.” This may seem reasonable, but upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that this argument commits the fallacy of begging the question. I will grant that there has been uniformity in the past, but how can we know that there will be uniformity in the future, unless we have already assumed that the future will reflect the past (i.e. uniformity). In other words, this argument ultimately boils down to: “Uniformity exists because uniformity exists.” And so, in conclusion, the practice of Science has a valid foundation only in a Biblical worldview that assumes the existence of God. The atheistic worldview can provide no such foundation, and so scientific arguments that supposedly disprove the existence of God can actually only be valid if God does in fact exist.



CONTENTION 2: THE LAWS OF LOGIC CAN ONLY BE ACCOUNTED FOR IN A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW.


Logic is absolutely essential in any argument. No conclusions or arguments could be made without it. This may seem absurd, but the fact is, even factual statements imply certain logical steps. For instance, even the seemingly basic fact of the law of gravity rests on the conditional syllogism:


If I am pulled back to the ground when I jump, gravity exists.


I am pulled back to the ground when I jump.


Therefore, gravity exists.


All coherent arguments and conclusions rest on the laws of Logic, and thus, any coherent worldview must be able to legitimately account for them. The Biblical worldview, which assumes God’s existence, can do this. How? Again, the Bible gives us more than adequate reason to believe in Logic.



  1. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” –Ephesians 5:1

  2. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” –II Timothy 2:13

  3. “In whom (God) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

  4. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” –John 14:6 (emphasis added)

  5. “(God), being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of His power…” –Hebrews 1:3 (emphasis added)

  6. “God [is] not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” –Numbers 23:19


From these verses we can conclude that all truth consists in God, who cannot contradict himself. Logic is our representation of how God thinks, derived from our mandate to imitate Him, and since God is omnipresent and always consistent, Logic applies everywhere and does not change, thus giving the Christian an completely adequate reason to believe in the laws of Logic, based on a Biblical worldview.


However, as with the previous example, the atheistic worldview cannot possibly provide the kind of foundation for Logic offered by the Biblical worldview. For example, apart from the Bible, how could we know that contradictions are always false? We could only say that they have been false in our experience. But our experiences are very limited, and no one has experienced the future. So if I were to claim that this argument was simultaneously true and false, the atheist would have no basis for dismissing such an assertion. Only the Biblical worldview for the law on non-contradiction, or for that matter, any of the laws of Logic at all.


Since it is impossible to know anything without fact (primarily obtained by some type of scientific inquiry) or logic, I present the following valid conditional syllogism to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Resolution is true:


If the God of the Bible did not exist, it would be impossible to know anything.


We can know something.


Therefore, the God of the Bible does exist.



In conclusion, the above syllogism uses the laws of logic (which, by the way, my opponent cannot possibly account for), to prove that the Resolution is true, to prove that The one true God as described in the Christian Bible MUST exist. The only possible way that my opponent might disprove this ultimate and unavoidable conclusion is to assert that Logic and Science are possible without God. These assertions have no basis in truth and I am more than prepared to combat them.


Finally, I wish my opponent good luck and look forward to a good, informative, and engaging debate.

CD-Host

Con

I would like to thank RightWingConspiracyGuy for this opportunity. I'd been considering starting a debate on the presuppositional apologetic myself, and am enthusiastic about addressing the Francis Schaffer version of this case (per his post).

The Pro case consists of 2 contains. The first is on uniformity, the second on logic. I think it's obvious I need to establish the ability for Con siding with atheists, to reason at all, that is assert logic is fully possible, prior to arguing for a specific fact, the uniformity of nature. So I will address the 2nd contention in this post and address the first in the next round.

The flaw in the affirmative case is a bit subtle and it rests partially on the problem that the case makes arguments addressed within the field of logic but uses an imprecision of language which is common in everyday speech. The bulk of my first round rebuttal is simply going to consist of proposing definitions and making a few obvious points. It is my contention that Contention 2 rests on an equivocation and once the proper vocabulary exists the argument falls apart.

Let me start by definition the term "propositional calculus" (http://en.wikipedia.org...) as a formal system for manipulating symbols. The manipulated symbols can be interpreted as "propositions", hence the name. There are many different propositional calculi, and they can be constructed arbitrarily by simply creating rules. The first rule in our standard proposition calculus is: (If p then q; p; therefore q. Called Modus Ponens).

The particular the law in the standard propositional calculus my opponent wants is the law of non-contradiction (technically called "tertium non dater"): (for any statement p, it is never the case that both p and not-p are true).

We can also create non standard propositional calculus and in fact people, do this for situations when the standard rule logic doesn't work well. For example modal logics allow us to manipulate propositions that are not just true or false, but rather "necessarily true" or "possibly true". Another example is a "many valued logic" where we can manipulate propositions with values like: true, false, indeterminable. SQL (http://en.wikipedia.org...(SQL)), a computer language which sits under most major applications in use today uses this sort of propositional calculi. Another common example is fuzzy logics (http://www.fuzzy-logic.com...) which have notions like "very" (i.e. very cold) or "normal". This sorts of logical systems operate many of our safety regulatory devices like the antilock-braking on cars. Intuitionist logic is concerned with "justified" rather than true and thus deletes form the standard logic the rule that (not not x is equal to x for any statement x).

So at this point I want to make a series of assertions:

1) There are many propositional calculi, that is many logics not a single logic.
2) Such systems can be constructed essentially arbitrarily.
3) These systems by definition allow one to take given sets of propositions and create new ones.

I should note that nowhere in these constructions has been any assumption of the existence of god(s) or absolutes. What is missing so far from this more formal definition is any way to determine if a propositional calculus is "true" in a meaningful sense. For example, I could construct a propositional calculus that has a rule like "all statements starting with the letter r are true", and in some deeper sense, the way Pro meant it, this logic will be false. But at least at this point I've proven atheists have equal access to using logic. So let's turn to the truth of logics thus constructed.

In practice we've been using standard logic for thousands of years. These rules are obvious, intuitive, and cross cultural boundaries. Once a student is first exposed to the formal definition of standard propositional calculi, they see it as sensible, "oh that's a good way to describe how I already thought". They don't see the standard propositional calculi as some alien way to think. And in the more limited domains where people use alternate propositional logics this also holds. Propositional logics that are valuable are valuable because they are formal representations of truths that were intuitively obvious and they are intuitively obvious because they correspond so directly to observable reality. This strong intuitive correspondence was why Pro thought of standard logic as being unique / distinguished, and in his initial case it is clear he couldn't even imagine there were alternate logics! That is to say the connection between empirical verification of a logic, and the logic is not a complex process. Further, people have independently constructed propositional calculi with totally different rules and statements of the rules to describe similar phenomena. Invariably mathematical logic quickly shows the two logics are equivalent (that is given the same axioms they would both produce the same results).

So the proposal for verifying the truth of a propositional calculi is very simple.

a) Take true statements
b) Use the propositional calculi to church out other statements.
c) Some of these created statements are empirically verifiable. If so verify them.

And this (a)-(c) process is exactly what we do when we built propositional calculi. There is nothing in theism or atheism that prevents this process from undergoing its natural course.

Now Pro might still retort "Well how do you know you aren't wrong? Sure your logic is working fine across millions of propositions for many billions of people living in thousands of cultures over many thousands of years. But how do you know they didn't miss something?" And the answer is, "they might very well have. But given that tremendous level of empirical verification they would have had to have missed something that is incredibly subtle and infrequent. That is something that is not damaging to thought in any meaningful way what-so-ever." There may very well be a propositional calculi with tens of millions of rules that is a better one than the standard. Lets assume there were a Perfect-logic. We first note, Perflect-logic would have to agree with standard-logic for almost everything. That is standard logic would have be an excellent approximation for practical use. Were not the case, the flaws in standard-logic would have been discovered.

More importantly, Perfect-logic by the very fact that it has these tens of millions of rules is impractical. Just considering arbitrary pairs of rules involves something on the order of a quadrillion calculations, the number of rules squared. This is more thoughts than I or anyone else would be able to complete in an entire life. So such a logic is simply beyond my and everyone else's mental capacity. That is even if I knew for sure about the existence and correctness of Perfect-logic it would be mostly of some sort of theoretical interest. I would still use standard logic for my reasoning, by virtue of the fact that "correct" / "true" logics are those that correspond in a very meaningful way to human thought.

And that is the key point, a logic is nothing more than how humans describe collective describe the nature of an empirical reality they are confronted with. The logic is true because it works and it feels right. One can assign probabilities to the possibility that a "false" logic would get through the trillions of empirical verifications that ours has, and the probability is so vanishing small as to be meaningless concern.

Debate Round No. 1
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Pro

First of all, I would like to thank CD-Host for accepting this debate, which I have also wanted to have for some time now. I look forward to it being a good one. And with that, I will go over my affirmative case and then move on to refute my opponent’s negative case.


AFFIRMATIVE CASE


CONTENTION 1: THE UNIFORMITY OF NATURE CAN ONLY BE ACCOUNTED FOR IN A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW.


My opponent has completely dropped this contention and thus conceded it. I am of course aware that he said he would address it in the next round, but the very first prestandard of today’s debate is “Drops count as concessions.” It was not “Drops count as concessions…unless you say you’ll address the argument sometime maybe later.” I understand that it is hard to fit everything into 8,000 characters, but sometimes you just have to cut things out to make it fit. I was originally going to have 3 contentions but had to cut the third one out because of the character limit. My opponent should have done the same instead of dropping half my case. My opponent has indeed conceded this argument, and it should be known, that, unless my opponent is willing to contend that science is irrelevant, this alone is enough for me to win the round. To prove this point, I offer the following syllogism:


If God does not exist, Science cannot exist.


Science does exist.


Therefore God does exist.


I could leave the debate at that and still legitimately expect to win, as my opponent has literally handed me victory on a silver platter by conceding one of my most important arguments. However, since I believe my opponent is due more respect than that, I will go on to address his case. But first, a quick note on Contention 2. Although my opponent has contested the fact that the atheistic worldview can provide no legitimate basis for the laws of logic, he has conceded that the Biblical worldview can provide such a basis. And so the only possible means of argumentation for my opponent is to win that the atheistic worldview can provide a basis for logic. Otherwise, he will have lost or conceded literally every argument in the round.



NEGATIVE CASE


As far as I can tell, the theme of his argument here is that since humans can arbitrarily construct valid systems of logic without belief in or reference to any deity, logic is not dependent on God. However, my opponent misses the point. My opponent has demonstrated that logic does work, but not why logic works. I never claimed that you had to be a Christian to practice logic, only that you cannot explain why logic exists or why it works if you deny the existence of God. To demonstrate this point, imagine to people engaged in a heated debate over the existence of air. The negative side would by no means need to believe in air as he issued passionate arguments for its nonexistence. However, in order to be making those arguments, air has to exist despite his beliefs. In conclusion, just as God’s existence is entirely independent of anyone’s belief in Him, the dependence of Logic on God is entirely independent of the beliefs of those who practice or codify it. In short, Logic doesn’t care whether or not you believe in God.


And now, since it didn’t take very long to refute my opponent’s arguments, I now offer the third constructive contention I was earlier forced to omit due to character restraints.


CONTENTION 3: MORALITY CAN ONLY BE ACCOUNTED FOR IN A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW


To a certain extent, we all know whether or not something is wrong. For instance, tell even a small child that someone has been murdered and he’ll tell you it was wrong. However, we must look past these mere impulses and ask: Why is it wrong? What makes it wrong? Obviously, under the Biblical worldview, the answer is clear; moral laws are presented time after time in the Bible.



  1. “You shall have no other gods before me.” -Exodus 20:3

  2. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image-you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” -Exodus 20:4-5

  3. "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.” -Exodus 20:7

  4. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” -Exodus 20:8

  5. “Honor your father and your mother.” -Exodus 20:12

  6. "You shall not murder.” -Exodus 20:13

  7. “You shall not commit adultery.” -Exodus 20:14

  8. "You shall not steal.” -Exodus 20:15

  9. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” -Exodus 20:16

  10. "You shall not covet.” -Exodus 20:17


I could go on for much longer, as the Bible is simply stuffed full of moral commands, but for our purposes, the Ten Commandments will suffice. From these verses it is clear that the Christian obviously has a legitimate basis for morality.


However, the atheistic worldview can provide no such basis. In fact, it sometimes would encourage blatantly immoral actions. If you deny that God exists, He could not possibly have created you, which leaves only one(as far as I know) explanation for our existence: evolution. If you assume this theory of origins, there absolutely no basis for objective morality, or, for that matter, any morality of any kind whatsoever. Assuming evolution is true, the only meaningful goal in life is to further your existence. Under this framework, there is absolutely nothing wrong with murdering a man who is trying to get you fired. In fact, to do so would be admirable and to refrain from doing so would be utterly foolish. After all, killing him is the only way to keep your job, and doing so would certainly further your success in life, which, assuming the atheistic worldview, is the sole purpose of life.



In summary, my opponent has conceded my entire first contention, and utterly failed to refute my second one, as well as completely neglecting to offer a constructive case of any kind. Faced with these facts, the logical conclusion could not be clearer: The One True God as described in the Christian Bible does in fact exist. There is no other rational alternative.



CD-Host

Con

The core idea of the presuppositional apologetic is to argue that a non-believer, an atheist is philosophically unjustified in asserting positions that they in fact hold. The case against logic in the Round-1A is a good example. I do want to be able to be use logic and do want to be justified in using it. Hence the argument that atheist presuppositions make that impossible, make sense and need to be addressed. The argument is incorrect, because as round-1 shows atheist presuppositions do allow for the construction for a logic but it is not self contradictory in the way the uniformity and the version of the morality argument presented are.

In the case of uniformity that is philosophical uniformitarianism (http://en.wikipedia.org...) is a theory of geology from the 1780s that spread to the rest of the sciences and started to run into problems by the 1830s. By the 1890s more sophisticated versions of the philosophy of science were commonly held and with the rise of expansionary universe (Hubble) and Quantum Mechanics no one holds this theory today. And this is a definite problem for the argument as stated, "If experiments performed exactly the same way under the exact same conditions sometimes produced one result, and sometimes another, contradictory on, science would be pointless; it would be impossible to prove anything by it." Because the reality is there are many such experiments that can be conducted that produce variable results like this and that doesn't make science pointless at all. Science is empirical verification of complex hypothesis. Once needed in the case of a variable outcome is merely a hypothesis that is itself variable. The double slit experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org...) is likely the classic example of just such a result. Since this was supposed to be a philosophical debate I'm not going to take advantage of the scientific error, in round 1 and rather give my opponent the opportunity in round 3 to either revise his claim to support a modern theory or prepare to defend uniformitarianism against a century and a half of counter evidence. So lets dispense with the drop claim, atheism makes no current day claim to uniformitarianism at all, though we do claim historical ancestry uniformitarianism led to spiritual materialism which led to naturalistic materialism which is the metaphysics of atheism.

Essentially the ideas of uniformitarianism are that:

a) the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now, have always operated in the universe
b) "the present is the key to the past", that these laws operated in a gradualistic way and at the same rate as today

Uniformitarianism was a vital step in terms of scientific examination of the past. But those 2 major simplifying assumptions are both rejected by modern theories including the original home of uniformitarianism, geology. Today's geology does not picture a static earth gradually changing, there are enumerable processes occurring from the past, like frequently gaining mass from collision that simply aren't occurring on today's earth. Slightly revised versions of those ideas are still quite common in modern science however, so if Pro via this "dropped" claim would like to tie himself to a discredited by the 1830s scientific theory be my guest, but I'm going to proceed the more serious issues in his theory which is actually much more problematic.

Uniformitarianism was more than anything else a rejection of catastrophism the idea that world was formed by sudden violent events. The bible unquestionably teaches formation by sudden violent events. It opens with a creation, moves on to a flood which reshapes the earth, has frequent divine interventions and then ends with total destruction. A good example is fossils, as a result of flood myth fossils were attributed to the flood, a theory from catastrophism not uniformitarianism. The bible far from teaching uniformity teaches the precise opposite and this is acknowledged even today by creationists (http://www.nwcreation.net...). That was until da Vinci studies in the alps began to throw doubt on this that while the alps had been under water it was not a sudden flood but a more gradual process, the idea that fish fossils "proved" the flood was taken as a given.

On cosmology the issue of biblical incompatibility was much more serious. Take the creation story:

Gen 1:2, theum, deep salty water, pre-exists creation, this likely is in your english language bible as “the deep”. God then passes over the fresh drinkable water on the surface (mim). Gen 1:3 God becomes light, sees the light says light is good. good and separates it from the darkness. Then Gen 1:4 he separates light from darkness. Gen 1:5 he names stuff, and Gen 1:6-10 he puts a barrier (raqia translated as firmament in the KJV) splitting the preexistent waters. He gathers the lower waters together. So now you have an upper layer of drinkable water, an atmosphere, a rock layer with a sea on it and then a layer of deep water below the rock (the ocean). Then Gen 1:11-13 life starts. Gen 1:14-18 God then attaches the sun, moon and stars to the firmament (atmosphere) below the upper waters (rain water) so the earth can have light.

This is the imagery that makes something like Rev 6:12-14 with stars falling to earth possible. In our modern cosmology, and the cosmology that existed at the time of uniformitarianism, the visible stars are those that are huge, and anyone of the visible stars would sterilize the earth instantly if it got the boundary of the solar system. The remnants of this view were still plainly available in the late 18th and early 19th century. The whole infallibility / inerrancy movement couldn't exist in this environment, the hermeneutic that made it possible wasn't yet invented. My argument is quite simply that the bible is totally incompatible with either uniformitarianism or modern natural materialism.

Quite simply if the bible plainly teaches uniformity as per the claim, why is that the Christian culture of the Late middle ages had:
1) A non uniform cosmology
2) A view of cosmology consistent with Platonism not Newton.
3) A strong belief in astrology and that the stars and planets were spiritual not material beings. And in fact remnants of astrotheology particularly in art.
4) A supernatural view of causation.

As an aside, there were Christians who were able to make the bible compatible with 19th century uniformitarianism, but these required deep theological changes. Mormon materialism, best exemplified by Orson Pratt's Absurdities of Immaterialism (http://tinyurl.com...) from this period still has substantial influence on the LDS theory today. There are similar ideas in the Christian Spiritualism movement of the next generation: 1848-1873. We can go down that road, but I see no support in a Reformed tradition for a tie between Christianity and uniformitarianism so I'd want my opponent to assert this non-Reformed Christian direction before going down a theological tangent from traditions he is likely to deny.

_______

To summarize what has been shown so far:

1) In round 1 it was proven that logic is intrinsic and constructive. It doesn't require ultimate justification since a logic is a formal description of human mental processes. This undercuts the lynchpin of the Presuppositional apologetic.
2) The specific additional problems with uniformity were discussed.
3) The inapplicability of the bible was discussed.


What remains for round 3 is:

1) The logic model constructed in round 1 is extended to a philosophy of science. Attacking the argument my opponent "meant" to make about the inability of atheists to justify any philosophy of science.
2) Evidence that this same procedure can also be applied to other arguments, in particular morality.
3) Problems with the specific bible verses used.

Debate Round No. 2
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Pro

AFFIRMATIVE CASE

CONTENTION 1: THE UNIFORMITY OF NATURE CAN ONLY BE ACCOUNTED FOR IN A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW.

Not only has my opponent dropped this contention in the previous round, but in this round, he has not even addressed the fact that he did so. He merely dismisses it by saying, “so let’s dispense with the drop claim.” No, I will not dispense with it, and neither should the audience. The face that my opponent completely ignored half my case in the first round is of the utmost significance, and it is enough for me to win this debate. However, even though my opponent makes no effort to refute the drop claim, he does make various other arguments only tenuously related to the matter at hand. I will deal with those, as well as the arguments on the subject of Logic, in the negative case section.

CONTENTION 3: MORALITY CAN ONLY BE ACCOUNTED FOR IN A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW

It turns out that my opponent has not ignored half my case. He has ignored two-thirds of it. In the last round, I argued that morality has no foundation in any worldview outside the Christian one. This contention was supported by several Bible citations as well as a coherent analysis of why the atheist cannot justify morality’s existence. This is an extremely important argument, because it means that the only way that my opponent can possibly win this argument is to concede that morality does not exist, which is clearly absurd. However, where does my opponent address it? He doesn’t. In fact he barely even acknowledges its existence. If you just read my opponent’s last argument by itself you might have no idea that I had a third contention. But I do have a third contention. And my opponent has ignored it like my first one. Given these facts, the conclusion is apparent and unavoidable: The resolution must be affirmed.

Also, I would like to point out that not only has my opponent failed to address the vast majority of my case, but he has also provided no constructive case of his own. It is simply unacceptable for him to sit back and criticize my arguments (that is, the ones he bothers to address), all while completely ignoring his obligation to offer a constructive case.

NEGATIVE CASE

My opponent spends the vast majority of his argument in this round talking about uniformitarianism. He talks on and on about the origins of uniformitarianism, about why it was formulated, when it was formulated. But in all his lecturing, he entirely misses the point. Let me make it clear that I am not arguing for uniformitarianism. I am arguing for uniformity. There is a difference. In fact, there is a vast difference. As my opponent spend such an extent of his time pontificating on the subject, I will not bother to define uniformitarianism again. My opponent has sufficiently accomplished that. However, uniformity is most emphatically not uniformitarianism. Uniformity is simply the basic idea that if gravity applies in Virginia, it will apply in the same manner in Colorado as well. This is one of Science’s foundational tenets; as I have argued before, Science would be useless without it. Galileo’s famous experiment in which he dropped the two balls of different weights from the top of the tower proves nothing unless you assume that gravity was effecting both balls in the same manner. And so it becomes clear that all my opponent’s preaching on the detriments of uniformitarianism is a complete non sequitir; totally unrelated to the matter at hand. I concur with my opponent in that uniformitarianism is indeed an invalid theory, although this is ironic, because it is the foundation of all the arguments that supposedly prove the Earth is millions of year old, which I would assume my opponent accepts. However, uniformity remains completely valid. And it impossibility in the atheistic worldview remains completely unaddressed by my opponent, along with so many of my other arguments.

My opponent goes on to claim that uniformity is impossible with the Biblical worldview. Since he does absolutely nothing to address the arguments I have already made proving the exact opposite, I will focus on refuting his own arguments, which he summarizes as follows:

“Quite simply if the bible plainly teaches uniformity as per the claim, why is that the Christian culture of the Late middle ages had:
1) A non uniform cosmology
2) A view of cosmology consistent with Platonism not Newton.
3) A strong belief in astrology and that the stars and planets were spiritual not material beings. And in fact remnants of astrotheology particularly in art.
4) A supernatural view of causation.”

Even assuming that all these claims are true, which he has not proven, there is one simple answer to them all: THIS IS NOT THE MIDDLE AGES. Simply because some Christians believed some things in the Middle Ages does not mean those things are accepted by modern Christians. Nor does it mean those things are suggested by a valid Biblical worldview, which they are not. In short, my opponent has committed the straw man fallacy. He has constructed a bunch of arguments that I have not made and that are not supported by the Bible properly understood, and attacked those instead of addressing the real arguments at issue, which I have already made in my constructive case. A caveat: The fourth point my opponent makes, that God causes and holds together everything, is in fact true and supported by the Bible. However, it does not prove that the Biblical worldview has no foundation for uniformity, as my opponent claims.

In conclusion, the three things that my opponent claims to have been shown so far have either not been shown or shown to be true but irrelevant. I have shown that my opponent has simply disregarded the vast majority of my case, as well as refuting every single one of his arguments, leaving the only available conclusion: The One True God as described in the Christian Bible Exists.

I thank my opponent and look forward to his reply.

CD-Host

Con

This is an odd debate where my opponent fails to address any of the points I raise and then argues I'm dropping.

My round 1 was a constructive case for logic. Precisely what he claims is not occurring.
My round 2 was a an attack on his definition of uniformity. Pro again gives a "definition" in round 3, "Uniformity is simply the basic idea that if gravity applies in Virginia, it will apply in the same manner in Colorado as well. This is one of Science’s foundational tenets"

1) This is not a definition, it is an example.
2) In so far as it is a definition it is a claim that same laws and processes observable today apply everywhere, the very definition of uniformitarianism.
3) Obviously statements about Virginia and Colorado are not foundational statements about science.
4) My opponent is not proving any of his claims that this is foundation nor even providing a definition for uniformity.

The originator of this uniformity argument he is using Cornelius Van Til. Van Til was using the term "uniformity" in the sense of Scholasticism (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Aquinas' 5 arguments (http://en.wikipedia.org...) for God depend crucially on a sort of scholastic uniformity that comes from Aristotle. So a statement like, "Invenimus enim in istis sensibilibus esse ordinem causarum efficientium" (In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes), are justified based on Aristotle's metaphysics. These Aristotelian metaphysics are treated as givens in traditional in theist vs. atheist debates. What Van Til is saying is that I as an atheist have no justification for assuming that sort of uniformity. Van Til is right. My opponent isn't right though, because he's getting confused between modern physics and traditional / Aristotelian metaphysics leading to internal contradictions.

Once we fix Pro's argument so he is not contradicting himself the question becomes how to respond to Van Til? And the response is the constructive case I've been making. Round 1 was a construction of logic. A construction of uniformity (in the sense of Aristotle) can be attached directly: Logics were defined empirically.

a) There exists a natural phenomena.
b) There exist observations about this phenomena. which can be converted into prepositional statements.
c) There exist systems of rules for combining naive observations into new prepositional statements (a logic that fits the reality).

And for anything once you have the logic:
d) Construct a model.
e) Test the model against reality.

The system is very simple. A logic in constructed for a very wide class of problems. The statement bolded in round-1b, "Propositional logics that are valuable are valuable because they are formal representations of truths that were intuitively obvious and they are intuitively obvious because they correspond so directly to observable reality." Then through the use of models the logic is extended to a much larger domain of problems with results derived from long chains of reasoning within the logical/emperical structure. Thus allowing the model to address the not intuitive obvious . And this answering the objection about "why logic works" from round 2a, this logic works because it was constructed / chosen from all possible models to be one that did fit the observational evidence, and thus answers Van Til's charge.

From there science proceeds:
sci-fi) A model for complex predictions (i.e. non naive observations) can be constructed in the language of the logic.
sci-fi) That model can be empirically verified.

(sci-d) and (sci-fi) are science, that is the core of the scientific method. I don't need to presuppose uniformity, I can construct a hypothesis of uniformity and then empirically verify and that's how I avoid Van Til's explicit question about uniformity.

Now obviously the 18th century uniformitarianism was going back to Aristotle's uniformity as a presupposition, that was their justification, hence the name. But if uniformitarianism were empirically verifiable, the method I've outlined above would in fact prove it without the need for the reference to Aristotle. So Van Til absolutely points out a correct and serious flaw in 18th century atheist arguments, but not a flaw in the argument / construction I've been making.

And similarly I could construct a morality on top of the constructive logic:
mor-d) A model for what behaviors are desirable for individuals within a society to achieve their broader aims (i.e. the aims of the society)
mor-e) An empirical verification that these laws of behavior advance broader aims.

My opponents key argument is his sylogism:
1) If God does not exist, Science cannot exist.
2) Science does exist.
C) Therefore God does exist.

(1) is now disproven. We have constructed a science without assumption that has the laws of science and no need for a God.

_____

The negative case for science rests on the contradictions between the bible and the very laws of science my opponent holds the bible supports. In round 2 the question was raised that if the bible taught something clearly, perspicuously then why wouldn't people who believed and read the bible believe it? My opponent failed to address this issue, the middle ages being one of countless examples but a key one since any claim that science depends on uniformity ties into scholasticism.

The 3 bible quotes: Hebrews 1:3, Numbers 23:19, Genesis 8:22 have nothing to do with uniformity either in the modern sense or the early 19th century earth science sense of uniformitarianism as exemplified by the fact that no major commentary mentions this application. The 5 bible quotes given for logic also had nothing to do with logic either. I'd just ask for a source here, a well known and respected commentary that ties this read of those verses into something like uniformitarianism or experimental empiricism.

____________

To summarize what has been shown so far:

1) In round 1 it was proven that logic is intrinsic and constructive. It doesn't require ultimate justification since a logic is a formal description of human mental processes. This undercuts the lynchpin of the Presuppositional apologetic.
2) The specific additional problems with uniformity were discussed in round 2.
3) The inapplicability of the bible and problems with the verses were discussed in round 2.
4) The logic model constructed in round 1 is extended to a philosophy of science in round 3.
5) I addressed the argument my opponent "meant" to make about the inability of atheists to justify any philosophy of science and showed how the construction from (4) refuted it (again round 3)
6) The science model was extended generically, and morality was an example of the generic extension (round 3)

My opponents method of proof has been by assertion.

His argument has been that I failed to address the majority of his case, far from that I cut the heart of his case out in round 1 and then cleaned up the details in the next 2 rounds. Were I to apply the "drops are concessions" rules the debate would be over. For whatever reason my opponent in Round 1 did not consider the construction of logic worth addressing, I will grant him a pass on that now that he sees how the negative is going to lay out. I thank my opponent for round 3 and look forward to rounds 4 and 5.

Notes:

Van Til's Metaphysics of Apologetics (1931) forms the basis for the presuppositional method an explicit discussion on the question of uniformity. The most well discussion is the 1955 The Defense of the Faith. There are many good responses from the traditional apologetics camp the best received one is http://tinyurl.com... about ½ or which is available at that link. http://members.tripod.com... and http://members.tripod.com... are online critiques that address the metaphysical issues from a Reformed Christian perspective. A final good discussion is by a modern presuppositionalist John Frame, http://www.reformed.org....

Debate Round No. 3
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Pro

I'm sorry my response has to be so short, but I only have 11 minutes to post this argumentt due to circumstances beyond my control.

AFFIRMATIVE CASE

Although my opponent has indeed made a constructive case for an atheistic view of logic, it has been soundly refuted and my oppoennt has not answered that refutation. As for the other 2/3 of my case, not only has he no constructive case concerning it, but he has entirely ignored it to boot. In summary, he has not accounted for logic becasue he can only explain that you can construct logic under an atheistic worldview, but not why or how it works, absent God. He has not accounted for science or morality because he has not even bothered to actually address them. Instead, he equivocated between "uniformity" and "uniformitarianism", scientifically distinct terms, and simply dismissed my morality charge without a legitimate argument.

NEGATIVE CASE

CD-Host:

To summarize what has been shown so far:

1) In round 1 it was proven that logic is intrinsic and constructive. It doesn't require ultimate justification since a logic is a formal description of human mental processes. This undercuts the lynchpin of the Presuppositional apologetic.
2) The specific additional problems with uniformity were discussed in round 2.
3) The inapplicability of the bible and problems with the verses were discussed in round 2.
4) The logic model constructed in round 1 is extended to a philosophy of science in round 3.
5) I addressed the argument my opponent "meant" to make about the inability of atheists to justify any philosophy of science and showed how the construction from (4) refuted it (again round 3)
6) The science model was extended generically, and morality was an example of the generic extension (round 3)


FACT: 1) this was absolutely not proven. He merely asserts this. As I huave said before, he has only proven that he can construct a logic, not why or how that logic works without God.
2)Again, my opponent equivocates between uniformity, a foundational supposition of science, and uniformitariansim. He has not directly addressed the argument that the atheistic worldview cannot account for uniformity.
3)this was merely asserted, not proven.
4)his argument concernuign logic is not invalid, and thus makes this argument invalid
CD-Host

Con

My opponent after posting added 2 additional points in the comments, section, comment 16. I grant their inclusion in his round 4 response.

However even including those, there is virtually nothing left of my opponent’s case to argue against. From round 2 on, he’s simply not addressed the points raised in this debate. At the end of round 3 the case demolished. One of the few remaining points was the bible verses. After asking for 3 rounds for some evidence tying those bible verses to their supposed purpose my opponent has refused to provide any evidence. Since new arguments are banned in the 5th round I’m going to provide negative evidence on the bible verses. This is essentially a weaker negative case than the primary case I ran in rounds 1-3, but those arguments haven’t refuted or even addressed.

Hebrews 1:3 -- Is a simple comment that Jesus sustains the universe. It makes no claims about what sort of universe is sustained.

Numbers 23:19 -- Says that God doesn’t lie, but doesn’t say anything about what’s he’s said. To make of this verse you would need a divine claim of uniformity, while as argued in round 2 we actually have frequent divine claims of catastrophism.

Genesis 8:22 -- Comes during a catastrophism story (the flood). Further it contradicts science not supports it. We know that “seedtime and harvest” will cease while the earth remains as the sun heats up from consuming its hydrogen.

___

The logic verses there is still an unaddressed argument from round 1as to which if any logics are supported? Does this biblical normative logic include axiom of choice (http://en.wikipedia.org...) or its opposite? Does it include the continuum hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org...) or its opposite? These sorts of question immediately make it clear how inferior this biblical logic is to the modern scientific one. The biblical logic represents a sort of naive approach to non contradiction and deduction not thousands of years of deep consideration,

The verses used to support this logic theme also are problematic.

Eph 5:1 -- Asks us to imitate God doesn’t say imitate in what.
2Tim 2:13 -- Implies non contradiction (grant that one)
John 14:6 -- Doesn’t give any rule of logic. If anything it seems to assert a connection between a being and truth which violate normative logic per Gödel's incompleteness theorems (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
Heb 1:3 and Numbers 23:19 addressed above.

____

In round 4 there are some 1 line “it too / is not” type arguments. For example the idea that we haven’t presented a case justifying how or why the logics derived empirically work. First off, note there is no proof of a “how” for the positive case at all. However, the atheist case does have this in round 1 but it is brief, the discussion of formal symbol manipulation. I’ll expand here.

The first complete theory of computation for a logic was in Principia Mathematica (http://tinyurl.com...). Computational theory for a normative logic is exactly what was described in part 1, the logical statements are evaluated as pure symbol pushing. The true/false assignment, the environment of execution, is assigned based on previously proven results and empirical observation. I’m not going to reproduce a 3 volume set on every detail of how to bootstrap a logic, but an example may suffice.

Assume that:

one wants to evaluate the truth of the statement “all of CD-Host’s dogs are brown”.
This decomposes to: And over the set of all CD-Host’s dogs where: Dog_i is brown
That’s a formal symbol manipulation. At that point whether one can go further depends on the “environment of execution”. For example if we have another statement: CD-Host has 2 dogs chloe and duck then the statement becomes
(duck is brown) and (chloe is brown)
etc...

The idea that the bible has any particular insight or material on computation is of course false. The lead author of Principia was Bertrand Russell an atheist and promoter of atheism. The 2nd author was Alfred North Whitehead, an agnostic, and the book’s central idea of ow to consider a logic was based on earlier work from GH Hardy, an atheist.

As for why it works, that one is easy by construction. The logic chosen was the one what produced empirically verifiable results. If any logic is going to work its going to have to be one of those logics. The logic that there are logics that work comes from experience using logic successfully. It was constructed to work.

I fail to see how random biblical quotes come close to the counter position.

As for uniformity. I think I addressed this in part3. It is not me who is equivocating, nor has any evidence been given that uniformity as defined is a foundation for science. Nor have the counter examples like double slit been addressed. As for the argument for uniformity, in so far as it holds comes from empirically verification.

As for the objective morality objection my opponent hasn’t presented any advantages of biblical morality over a utilitarian morality. By definition a utilitarian morality is more useful to the society. If he suspects his morality is better he:

a) Needs to show it
b) Needs to prove that it’s more useful aspects would not result in it being seen as the utilitarian morality.

If something other than utility is going to be the standard that needs to be argued.

Debate Round No. 4
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Pro

RightWingConspiracyGuy forfeited this round.
CD-Host

Con

My opponent to some extent was forfeiting from the beginning. He really didn’t address the key points starting in round 2. I think this is pretty clear so far there are 15 completely unaddressed points:

1a) Reason for deviations from Van Til
1b) Reasons for deviations from Francis Schaffer
2) Equivocation on logic, between formal mathematical definition and everyday speech
3) Multiplicity of propositional calculi
4) Does the biblical logic contain all of the rules needed for even basic
5) The need for other logics (example: multi valued, fuzzy logics)
6) Constructive nature of logics
7) Logical construction makes no use of gods.
8) Tie between logic and observation putting empiricism on a strong footing. In particular empirical verification as the means to evaluate a logic.
9) Logics that produce the same results (evaluate the same propositions to true) are equivalent.
10) Probabilistic defense for areas covered by propositional calculi.
11) An undiscovered logic with very similar results to a normative one would like be too complex for humans to use.
12) Construction of scientific method
13) Construction of morality
14) 8 unaddressed bible verses

____

On the uniformity / uniformitarianism issue my opponent has been terribly confusing and has consistently contradicted himself so this was difficult to argue.

Regardless:

  1. He never provided a clear definition of uniformity.
  2. A clear explication for why there is the confusion between his definitions of uniformity and uniformitarianism
  3. The biblical creation story’s incompatibility with uniformity as discussed in round 2.
  4. Revelations destruction story’s incompatibility (again round 2).
  5. Belief in astrology in both the bible and Christian cultures

Assuming he means uniformitarianism:

  1. Addressing contradictory scientific experiments since 1830s.
  2. Bible’s teaching of catastrophism
  3. Rejection of this view in Christian cultures

Assuming he means uniformity per Aristotle:

  1. Since he’s using this broadly in science as a whole and not just philosophy of science how he plans to handle all Renaissance and on science that conflicts like: Galilean relativity, Special & General relativity, Quantum mechanics...
  2. A clear definition of uniformity. This is especially important since the argument is that this comes directly from the bible.
  3. Variable results from the same experiment, for example double slit example from round 2.
  4. Supernatural causation

______

The one argument that was addressed several times Then the point that was repeated was the drop claim for uniformity. Just to repeat the counter:

a) paragraph 2 of round 1 did in fact address the drop claim.
b) Even if we were to pretend that I did drop and thus a single sentence concession could be imaginarily attached to my round 1 that still isn’t damaging.
c) All of round 2 qualifies that concession to mean that I am conceding to him his incorrect definition which was uniformitarianism, a discredited 18th century scientific theory
d) Round 3 again further develops this point at length.
e) And under this “drops are concessions” my opponent didn’t address this counter and thus conceded.

Debate Round No. 5
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CD-Host 5 years ago
CD-Host
Will one of you all who was posting early please score this debate. Voting ends in 2 weeks and so far no one has scored it.... Thanks in advance.
Posted by RightWingConspiracyGuy 5 years ago
RightWingConspiracyGuy
in my last round, I was unable to refute the last two things my opponent says he has shown (becuase I barely managed to post my argument with 10 seconds left on the clock). However, Here, I will accomplish that task:

5) This is merely a restatement of his previous argument as it concerns science, and has already been refuted.
6) This groundless assertion is merely a smokescreen to hide the fact that my opponent has absolutely no legitimate basis for morality. If he has, he has not articulated it.

My opponent's only argument for the atheistic basis for morality is to describe it as "actions desirable by individuals in a society." (i.e. whatever works for you is fine. Anything goes.) this not only concedes that, according to the atheistic worldview, there can be no OBJECTIVE morality, only subjective morality, but it also begs the question, why are these actions desirable? What makes them desirable? Who decides what is desirable? The atheistic worldview cannot answer these questions. The Christian one can.
Posted by CD-Host 5 years ago
CD-Host
The lines:
: sci-fi) A model for complex predictions (i.e. non naive observations) can be constructed in the language of the logic.
: sci-fi) That model can be empirically verified.
: (sci-d) and (sci-fi) are science

Should read
sci-d) A model for complex predictions (i.e. non naive observations) can be constructed in the language of the logic.
sci-e) That model can be empirically verified.

(sci-d) and (sci-e) are science

I assume some sort of auto correction on my side kicked in. Sorry for the confusion.
Posted by Marauder 5 years ago
Marauder
debate is up to Pro's round 3 post as I made this comment. finally read my through the debate so far.

I keep changing my mind with who is winning with each round. after Con made the thorough case against unifomitarinism and catastropheism I was sure Rightwingconspiracyguy would not be able reasert that first contention with any success but he did by making the distinction between uniformity and uniformitarinism.

cant wait to see cons response, I'm sure I will change my mind again.
Posted by CD-Host 5 years ago
CD-Host
F-16
<b> People who are not religious are not "zealous" about it. They just reject religion and don't care about it. Why would they be zealous about something they don't believe in or care about? </b>

I wouldn't reject the characterization of myself as a zealous atheist. If you consider the Pew categories for non religious: don't know, none, don't care, agnostic, atheist. I think its pretty clear atheist is the most "zealous" of the non-religious group while "don't know" is likely the least.

In my particular case I'm pretty knowledgeable about religion not indifferent. I consider atheism to be a worldview and belief systems as well as cultural aspects; that is in some sense a religion. I think one can make the case for people who answer the question "none" or "agnostic" but atheists do make positive statements of belief.
Posted by CD-Host 5 years ago
CD-Host
Thank you darkhearth.
Posted by darkhearth 5 years ago
darkhearth
i enjoy all of con's debate (correction to my first post)
Posted by darkhearth 5 years ago
darkhearth
i enjoy all your debate.
Posted by CD-Host 5 years ago
CD-Host
OK it wouldn't take that either. So here is a tiny url version of the corrected Null SQL link: http://tinyurl.com...
Posted by CD-Host 5 years ago
CD-Host
The system broke my link. The correct link for Nulls in SQL should be:

http://en.wikipedia.org...(SQL)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by popculturepooka 5 years ago
popculturepooka
RightWingConspiracyGuyCD-HostTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to CD for RightWing for forfeiting; arguments go to CD for RightWing dropping and leaving unaddressed numerous points by CD.