The Instigator
PericIes
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
A341
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The creation story of any one religion is no more or less probable than that of another religion.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/12/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 545 times Debate No: 78606
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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PericIes

Pro

Hello. This is a debate on a thought that occurred to me: is the creation story of a given religion any more or less probable than the creation story of any other religion?
I'm not entirely decided on the subject as of yet, and so I hosted this debate in the hope that its outcome would either convince me that, indeed, all creation stories are equally probable (which is the direction in which I slightly lean), or show me that not all creation stories are equally probable.

These creation stories are to be strictly religious ones. It is true that the Big Bang theory was originally hypothesized by a Catholic priest in support of Christianity, but because it is widely adopted by the scientific community as well, the Big Bang theory should not be one of the creation stories involved in this debate. This applies to any other theory widely accepted to be fact by the scientific community. I'm not trying to discredit religion here; I simply want this to be purely cerebral. I prefer (on an enjoyment level) solving problems with pure thinking, rather than bringing in studies and formulas and whatnot.

Furthermore, Pastafarianism does not count as a legitimate religion (even though I think it's hilarious, c'mon guys, let's be real for a second and admit that it's not a religion).

I'll be arguing that all religious creation stories are equally probable, and my opponent will be arguing that they are not all equally probable. Burden of proof is shared equally. No semantics, no excessive pedanticism (I leave it up to common sense to determine what "excessive" entails), and no trolling.

The debate should be argued on the merit of the stories involved, and not on technicalities that I may not have noticed in writing the rules for this debate.

Round 1- Rules, Con argument.
Round 2- Pro argument, Con argument
Round 3- Pro argument, Con argument
Round 4- Pro argument, Con forfeits or says something not related to the debate for the purpose of skipping the time required for forfeiture.

Con should not be penalized for forfeiting the last round. They do so because they get the first argument in round one. Con may also say something completely unrelated to the content of the debate if they wish, in order to expedite the whole process. If Con says something related to the content of the debate in this section, this will result in automatic forfeiture of the entire debate on Con's part.

Finally, I would like to say that my position on this debate does not necessarily correspond with or go against my beliefs on religion or the lack thereof. I choose to keep said beliefs private at this time.
A341

Con

My main point is that there are three factors by which we can tell if a creation story is more or less probable and that these can applied to the creation stories of major religions. These are:

1. Specificity
2. Accuracy
3. Obvious fraudulence

Specificity

Specificity is how specific the claims of a particular creation story are. A creation story which is less specific (for instance some Roman pagan creation stories) could apply to many different circumstances than a very specific creation story (such as the judeo christian creation story) meaning it is more likely to to correct.

Accuracy

Here I using accuracy to refer to how well a creation story fits with the best currently available evidence. A creation story that is either easily reconcilable with the current available evidence or fits well with it is more likely to be correct than one that is irreconcilable with or contradictory to the currently available evidence. The best examples of easily reconcilable creation stories usually come from the new age religions however there are plenty of other examples of reconcilable creation stories for instance one of the creation stories for ancient britonic paganism stated that humans came from animals, a view easily reconcilable with the theory of evolution.

Obvious Fraudulence

There are many religions the origin of which is obviously fraudulent or politically motivated, examples of this include Mormonism, Scientology, Inca polytheism and far too many more to list. These should be considered so improbable as to be virtually impossible and discounted entirely rendering them less probable.

I hope to have shown here that it's more than possible to evaluate the probability of creation stories meaning that not all are equally probable.
Debate Round No. 1
PericIes

Pro

Thank you for accepting the debate.

Right, so, firstly, I'd like to address something before making direct counterarguments. I was talking about creation stories in the rules of the debate. Specifically, how everything was created (the universe, Earth , stars, etc.). Anything within any religion that takes place after that is irrelevant. An example would be the seven days/periods of time (depending on whether or not you interpret the Bible/Torah literally) it took the Judeo-Christian God to create the universe and Earth and everything else. Adam and Eve after creation, Noah, Jesus, and everything else are completely irrelevant. Therefore, parts of your argument are irrelevant. Statements such as "humans came from animals," have to do with what happened AFTER creation, and so do not really hold sway here.

Specificity - I'd need you to be more specific (no pun intended) on a story that you're thinking of which applies to this criteria so that I can address it. Otherwise you're just saying something with no proof to back it up.

Accuracy - I don't see how the "what" of a creation story makes the story any more probable due to similarity with mainstream scientific theories if the "why" and "how" are different. For example, if a religion held that humans came from animals, as you say (I know this doesn't have to do with creation stories, but it's just a logical counterexample), but, instead of coming from them via a Darwinian model of evolution, they came from them because a god decided that animals were too boring and used magic to change animals to humans, that's not really similar to prevailing scientific theory, is it?

Obvious Fraudulence - Again, the "what," "how," and "why." I don't see how the motives behind a religion make its stories any more or less probable.

Because I barred out any mainstream scientific religious creation stories (such as the Big Bang theory), none of the religious stories agree with mainstream science. Therefore, in the eyes of science, all of them are equally wrong, and thus equally improbable, and thus equally probable.
A341

Con

"Specificity - I'd need you to be more specific (no pun intended) on a story that you're thinking of which applies to this criteria so that I can address it. Otherwise you're just saying something with no proof to back it up."

Ok as I explained a non specific creation story is a creation story which can be applied to many separate circumstances. For instance some of the Roman accounts of creation are almost deistic and could apply to more or less any theistic creation rendering them more likely than the very specific creation myths of the Abrahamic religions.

It simply follows that by having more circumstances that a creation story could apply to it becomes more likely.

"Accuracy - I don't see how the "what" of a creation story makes the story any more probable due to similarity with mainstream scientific theories if the "why" and "how" are different. For example, if a religion held that humans came from animals, as you say (I know this doesn't have to do with creation stories, but it's just a logical counterexample), but, instead of coming from them via a Darwinian model of evolution, they came from them because a god decided that animals were too boring and used magic to change animals to humans, that's not really similar to prevailing scientific theory, is it?"

I merely used that as an example of a specific celtic creation myth (btw my source is the Edinburgh Museum hence not posting it) of which a certain part of it is not necessarily counter factual and easily reconcilable with evidence. And yes there are religions that are more scientifically accurate than others. For instance some creation myths (from China, north America and India [1]) say that the world was (or is) balanced on the back of a turtle which is obviously false.

However some myths (for instance the Sikh creation myth) can be interpreted in such a way that they seem to be speaking of a "big bang" type event making them seem more scientifically accurate.

There are also new age religions (and yes these are legitimate religions) which have creation stories that are easily reconcilable with modern scientific theories (mainly the "big bang" theory).

"Obvious Fraudulence - Again, the "what," "how," and "why." I don't see how the motives behind a religion make its stories any more or less probable. "

Basically a lie is very unlikely to be true. Creation myths do not exist in a vacuum but as part of a larger religion (usually) and the truth or falsehood of the religion will effect the truth or falsehood of the creation myth.

Post Script:

Sorry for the mention of the Celtic creation myth stating something that could be reconciled with modern evolutionary theory, I got that a bit wrong).

Also I would ask my opponent to make an argument rather than just refuting mine.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
PericIes

Pro

PericIes forfeited this round.
A341

Con

Extended.
Debate Round No. 3
PericIes

Pro

I sincerely apologize for forfeiting the round. The other day when I checked the clock I thought that I had more time than I did. Then when I got home from school the next day to post my round it was already forfeited. I won't let that happen again.

"For instance some of the Roman accounts of creation are almost deistic and could apply to more or less any theistic creation rendering them more likely than the very specific creation myths of the Abrahamic religions."

I was really looking for a more in-depth account of a specific example so that I could address it. However, in the absence of this, I'll have to deal with a broader argument. We can interpret likelihood in two ways The first is realistic likelihood. This is taking into account only contingencies that we judge to be realistically possible. The second is literal likelihood. This is taking into account all contingencies, the number of which is infinite. If we are to take into account only that which is realistically likely, then all non-scientifically viable contingencies are equally incorrect, and therefore equally unlikely, and therefore equally likely. If we are to take into account all contingencies, then all situations are equally statistically likely, because there are a never-ending amount of all contingencies.

"I merely used that as an example of a specific celtic creation myth (btw my source is the Edinburgh Museum hence not posting it) of which a certain part of it is not necessarily counter factual and easily reconcilable with evidence. And yes there are religions that are more scientifically accurate than others. For instance some creation myths (from China, north America and India [1]) say that the world was (or is) balanced on the back of a turtle which is obviously false."

It doesn't seem like you are addressed the logic in my rebuttal, about the how and why and whatnot. You just made a claim and provided another example that you think is unlikely to be the truth.

"There are also new age religions (and yes these are legitimate religions) which have creation stories that are easily reconcilable with modern scientific theories (mainly the "big bang" theory)."

If they become too similar to the Big Bang Theory, then they are no longer non-scientific religious beliefs. For example, a Catholic priest came up with the Big Bang Theory because it supported Chistianity, but in the rules I excluded stories that are simultaneously religious and scientific.

"Basically a lie is very unlikely to be true. Creation myths do not exist in a vacuum but as part of a larger religion (usually) and the truth or falsehood of the religion will effect the truth or falsehood of the creation myth."

This is, in fact, aptly addressed by my statement that you were rebutting when you wrote that, which runs thusly: "Again, the "what," "how," and "why." I don't see how the motives behind a religion make its stories any more or less probable."
So, yeah, my argument extends on this point.

"Also I would ask my opponent to make an argument rather than just refuting mine."

I did make one. I posted it already. It runs thusly: "Because I barred out any mainstream scientific religious creation stories (such as the Big Bang theory), none of the religious stories agree with mainstream science. Therefore, in the eyes of science, all of them are equally wrong, and thus equally improbable, and thus equally probable."

I realize that this seems rather short to be the present basis of what is my argument, but it is really a very simple concept. I cannot, as of right now, see any flaws in it, but that, as I mentioned in the rules, is the reason that I started this debate; to test my idea.
A341

Con

A341 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by PericIes 2 years ago
PericIes
I sincerely apologize for forfeiting the round. Yesterday when I checked the clock I thought that I had more time than I did. Then when I got home from school a bit ago to post my round it was already forfeited. I won't let this happen again.
No votes have been placed for this debate.