The chance of a deity existing is less than 50/50
Debate Rounds (5)
I accept the challenge and wish you good luck!
Thank you for accepting this debate. Let's make this a fun one!
Because of such a claim, I have a good amount, if not all of the burden of proof. Due to time constraints outside the world of DDO, I am going to provide a little bit of evidence here, and in future rounds, I will provide more facts as well as sources for the facts I present in this round because the time constraint is so big, I cannot even get proper sources.
My first bit of evidence is the lack of records. Usually, this would be lack of evidence for the other side, and a lack of evidence isn't evidence for the other side, BUT, we all know well that the Egyptians kept records of almost all events of their times using heiroglyphics on walls. With the research going on, no heiroglyphics have been found of any claim made by Abrahamic religions. Now, that is an argument against deities, it's one against Abrahamic beliefs. However, when the credibility of a part of a claim is lost, then other parts of that claim also lose credibility.
Most forms of deities are expressed as beings that cannot be sensed by human beings. Many claim that their deity is not of this or any other universe, but is outside the whole picture creating said picture. But, the universe is defined as everything that exists. By definition, many people's claims of a deity cannot be considered in existence.
Unfortunately, this weak argument is my only argument for now. If my opponent is arguing that the chance is higher than 50/50, I do not expect a rebuttal, but an argument that it is higher than 50/50. If my opponent is arguing that my claim is wrong, then a rebuttal may be made, but I'd prefer an argument instead of a rebuttal.
I would first like to say that I am a Christian, and freely acknowledge that there are an infinite number of things that I don't know about God, and possibly never will. However, I do believe that God exists, regardless of whether or not he's the particular God that I have in mind. When questioned about God, some believers will point to personal experience and tell some story about how prayer has changed their life, or how God spoke to them. For the sake of this debate, I will forego those types of defense, as they are not logic based, but faith based, and therefore not unbiased points.
The concept that I would like to argue is that some form of deity is very likely to exist, whether he is a part of our universe, or completely separate from it.
When asked to prove the existence of God, which I will admit is an impossible task, many people simply argue that God cannot be scientifically observed. Believers will argue that "you just gotta have faith." Nonbelievers will take this argument and reply by saying that a lack of scientific evidence constitutes a lack of God. Simplified, the argument is that "if we cannot prove or explain that something exists, then it does not officially exist," which follows the scientific method. However, there are an infinite number of things that exist, although we cannot explain them.
If you would indulge me: I would ask if you support the theory that our universe is an infinite space, going on forever (as we perceive it)? I would then suggest that we have discovered less than one percent of our universe, while the other 99 percent are entirely undisturbed and unobservable by our means.
Even if I subscribe to the possibility that God does not exist, I must submit that there is something else out there. Theoretically speaking, if we believe that the universe extends beyond even our imagination, then the chances for intelligent life are raised to an almost certainty. If man is a result of the Big Bang Theory, surely there are other planets with the capacity to support life, and surely life would have taken form on one or many of those sister Earths. It is entirely possible that there is life on another planet, possibly less advanced than we are, and possibly more advanced.
Now, I understand that I have swung way out into left field with the previous paragraph, but the point that I am making is that if we accept the theory that our universe is infinite, then we must also accept that the possibilities are endless. The more possibilities, the higher the potential that a supreme deity exists. So then if we are forced to accept that the possibilities of our universe are endless, it becomes impossible to concretely suggest that there is not a deity somewhere. Whether or not we can scientifically observe him makes little difference.
Ozzyhead forfeited this round.
I thank Pro for the update, and wish him the best of luck in round four!
I would like to first talk about something my opponent brought up in the beginning. He said it was not an argument, but it is something I want to address for educational purposes.
There is a gland in your brain in between your eyes that releases hormones that sends out mental images and sounds. This is the gland responsible for dreams. Both at a really relaxed state and a really chaotic mental state is when this gland releases the hormones. If you notice these stories, and you compare them to a Jew, Hindu, or Muslim's, you will see that they all have one thing in common: whatever they were taught about their religion is what happened to them. This also explains the reason why when people are clinically pronounced dead, they see these images and sounds, even when no brain activity is recorded. Just because there is no DETECTABLE activity does not mean there is none at all.
Now, let me get in to the arguments.
When my opponent mentions that there are infinite numbers of things that exist that we don't know about, he is, in my eyes, partially right (notice how I don't come flat out and say he is 'wrong'). There are a number of things that we can't explain, but there isn't anything we claim to exist that we don't know something about. You think you know everything there is to know about a maple leaf, but we can never know too much.
Do I support the theory that the universe is an infinite space going on forever? I believe it is most likely, but without knowing for sure, I will never fully claim something as true. If something is infinite, by the way, that would mean that you can't have a percentage of it. You need to have closed, not open ended number figure.
Let me talk about the next paragraph.
I would find it absurd if someone said that there is no such thing as intelligent life else where in the universe. But, let's think. What if life is a rare occurrence in the universe? It is actually very possible that life may not exist else where, or if it doesn't many other planets. Think about it: There are places on earth that can't support life, so is it absolutely definite that life can exist else where?
If the universe is infinite, this does raise possibilities, but the ability to observe a deity adds to it's possibility. Let's look at what a deity is in our minds. A deity is supposed to be not of this universe, and a deity is supposed to have some sort of capability to have some sort of an effect on life on this one earth. If my opponent is right, and the deity is of the universe and is just very distant, what is the possibility that it can effect the earth, and see everything? This is when either magic comes in, which has not been proven to exist, and the possibility of magic being real is very, very slim. Magicians as we know today rely on illusions, not magic.
So, how does this make it less likely that a deity exist? Well, in order to claim something as true, you need to have the characteristics of that something to be true. In order to claim the possibility over 50%, at least half of the characteristics have to be proven to be real. If all but one characteristic is proven real, and that one characteristic is proven to be impossible or improbable, then the whole claim is thrown away.
Regarding the lack of records, Out of my own curiosity, I would ask Pro to provide an example of what Abrahamic claims can be refuted by the lack of records. The Egyptians did indeed use the Israelites as slave labor, and in an elitist mindset, I would suggest that the Egyptians considered Abrahamic religions beneath them. Therefore, it would have been disrespectful and absurd for the stone workers to honor such believes in their creations. Historical records are infamously talented at leaving details out, especially when written by the dominant nations. Therefore, I would be surprised to find any historical document which supported opposing beliefs. Specifically: I'd be shocked to discover that Egyptians recorded the beliefs of their slaves.
The second point that Pro makes addresses the widely accepted view that God exists outside of the universe. Pro suggests that the universe is defined as everything that exists, and therefore, if God is not within the universe, he does not exist. I would like to point out that Pro does not argue the outright inexistence of God, but suggests that God cannot logically be defined as existing, if we believe that he exists outside of the universe. This is a good argument, but one that only appeals to human definitions, rather than evidence and logic, as science would demand. In response to this argument, which Pro has admitted was rather weak, I would ask: "what exists outside of our universe?" You may substitute any synonym for universe here, my real question is of whether or not you think God exists (disregarding our definition of existence) outside of our realm.
I suggest that the claim that "We don't/can't be sure" is not an acceptable argument, as it is a position-less argument. In addition, stating that there is no outside realm would only lead to the conclusion that any existence of God is confined to the infinite universe, which nullifies your initial argument about existence. (I would like to apologize for my numerical contradiction in round 2.) So then that would leave us with two acceptable arguments: either God or nothing exists outside of our universe.
If we were to argue that nothing exists outside of the universe, then I would refer to your point that everything in existence resides in the universe. Then I would argue that, theoretically speaking, there is no point in the physical universe where "nothing" exists. "Nothing" would constitute that life, nor light, nor time, nor space exist. I would argue that we cannot observe or even conceive of "nothing." By Pro's own definition, if "nothing" does not exist within our universe, which it does not, then it technically cannot exist outside of our universe. So if "nothing" cannot technically be defined as existing outside of our universe, then the only result is that a deity of some form exists outside of our universe, either that, or Pro has a logically flawed argument.
I look forward to our fifth round, composing of final rebuttals and conclusions!
When I speak of the Egyptians lack of records, I am talking about the lack of record of slaves. They also lack the records of world wide events stated in the Bible such as the world wide flood. If the flood did occur, and the Egyptians were around before the flood began, a rise in water or a long rain storm. They also never recorded owning Israeli slaves. Although historical records do leave out details, details such as a flood, which would not wipe the cave walls clean of the records, and owning slaves would more than likely be put down on somewhere. However, we have seen none of this. Is this definitive? No, but it hurts the chances.
Let's say that it is true that God is outside of the universe. Let's grant that propostition. We define the universe as everything that exists, so let's say everything that exists is in the universe, with the exception of God. Everything that exists is defined as something we can observe. And the only things that we can observe are things inside the universe. So, given the propostition that God is outside the universe, in the human eyes, unobservable is equivilent to not existing, and if God cannot be observed, it is safe to claim that he does not exist, or has the equivilent attributes as that that does not exist, and we cannot say whether or not a deity exists outside the universe because we cannot observe outside the universe.
Thanks for the civilized debate, and thanks to the audience for observing.
Pro has acknowledged my arguments and I appreciate his thoroughness. He mentions the theoretical notion that a deity could exist distantly, beyond our perception. However, then he places human limitations on said deity by questioning if such a being would be able to observe and affect the earth. First I would like to suggest that, if one submits to the concept of a deity with the ability to create everything, then the ability to observe everything loses its farfetchedness. Second, I would state that I am not necessarily arguing a deity's involvement in the everyday cycle of life. There is a branch of faith, which is known as deism, that believes God created the world and then wound it up and let it go, like a watchmaker to a watch. These are two accepted theories regarding the behavior of God.
Regarding the need for something to be proven impossible, we simply do not have the capacity as humans to say with absolute certainty whether or not something is impossible. The scientific laws that say something is impossible can be circumvented. Man CAN NOT fly, however he can create a means to travel through the air. Light can be bent. Gravity can be defied. The things we think are impossible are impossible to us at the moment, but is it fair to suggest that our human limitations mean that something will never be possible?
In response to Pro's claim about the Egyptians lacking records, I would respond that archeological evidence supports the likely presence of Israelites in Egypt during the 12th dynasty. Regarding the great flood, the biblical timeline would place the flood before 2500 BC, which would not have had any major effect on the Ancient Egyptian empire, sometime after 2000 BC. In addition, there are more than 230 legends about a worldwide flood, and many of them follow the same basic plot: Single family saves all the animals and rides out the flood in a great boat.
Finally, I would like to suggest that Pro has not actually disproven my argument from round 4. Instead of providing an argument to discount my points, he has granted the possibility of a deity existing outside of the perceived universe, and then suggested that our inability to observe this deity justifies our definition of said deity as not in existence. This is a justification of our human definition, rather than a proving that the chance of a deity is less than 50/50.
Simplified, Pro suggests that because we cannot observe a deity, we cannot argue that one exists. However, if we cannot prove the nonexistence of a deity, then there will always be believers that will hopefully rely on a combination of logic and faith.
I would like to thank Pro for a civil, hard-fought, and most enlightening debate. I hope that the audience can pull something from it. God (in whatever form he may be) bless you.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: While Pro's arguments were more to the point and very rational, Con's arguments were close but Con did provide sources, even though these sources did not wholly support Con's argument, the World Nut Daily article was Fallacious and the Science, How Stuff Works article mainly concerned historical accounts of local floods, as all cultures report floods, but at random periods. Pro is right, that there is no evidence for a global catastrophic flood at exactly the same period world wide, if so, those cultures that survived the flood would not have, such as the Egyptians.
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