The Instigator
andymcstab
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
emospongebob527
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

"The fool hath said in his heart there is no God" True or False?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
andymcstab
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 824 times Debate No: 48574
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

andymcstab

Pro

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." - Psalm 14.1


The veracity of this claim will be the debate topic.


4 rounds. 1st round acceptence, last round final rebuttal and summary.

God: Most mighty creator of the universe and life


I welcome the contender...






emospongebob527

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
andymcstab

Pro

Fool:
1.
a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; silly.


To win this debate I will show that the person who says "there is no God" has acted unwisely and imprudently

Imprudent
1.
not showing care for the consequences of an action; rash.


I am going to interpret "hath said in his heart", to mean a "deeply held & consciously asserted" as when one "speaks from the heart", he shows his innermost, firmest held beliefs.

Although the verse is Biblical, its statement is general, therefore I have the added burden of having to show that belief in a generic "creator of the universe" God is foolish. I cannot refer to hell or heaven or biblical passages to aid my argument.

1:
My first argument would concern the potential loss versus gain.

Irrespective of religion, some charactaristics of God can be assumed by looking at his creation. For instance one could assume that God has knowledge of and appreciates beauty, because the universe is so full of it. We could assume God is magnificently intelligent, to have created and tuned all of the natural laws which govern us. We can also assume that God is not afraid to inflict harm, as the universe is full of suffering, but he also knows what it is to love, as the univese is full of that too. We can assume that God is eternal, atleast relative to us. To have created this space/time, he must be independent of it. We can also assume that God atleast knows justice, to have created a creature which yearns it.

Therefore & without needing to reference any religion we can assume certain charactaristics of God, and because God has these characteristics we can assume that their may be consequences for both the denier and believer.

There may be no punishment to the denier but the believer may be favored. There may be no reward for the believer but the denier gets punished. When factored in with the potential of eternal life, either would show consciously asserted disbelief as the definition of imprudent, unwise and thus foolish.

I believe that this is all reasonable to assume therefore, the person who denies God is foolish.

----------------

Argument 1 can be turned over simply by showing that it would be unreasonable to assume theism. Also, it could still be more reasonably beneficial to deny God if the evidence for God were weak/the evidence for atheism were strong + the reward on Earth for disbelieving were great/the punishment for believing were great.
I would argue it is beneficial for a person living in this age to publically deny God. One could avoid ostracisation from collegues, especially in the fields of science, for example.

There are then two strong reasons why I need to show it is reasonable to assume theism and very unreasonable to consciously assert disbelief in God, so this is what I aim to show in my second argument.

-----------------

2:
There is simply no good reason to assume atheism, much less strongly assert disbelief in God "from the heart".
The foibles of mans religions are irrelevent, their truth has no implication for the actual existence of God, so the person who strongly disbelieves must have some kind of universal substantiation of his disbelief. He could do this for instance by arguing that the laws of nature are incoherent, or that there is no sign of design in the universe. But ofcourse he would be provably wrong on both counts. If the laws of nature were incoherent there could be no science, while nature implies design so universally that children would come to assume God, even if they grew up alone on a desert island and were never informed of the notion.

( http://www.ox.ac.uk... )

This nicely segways into universal evidence for God: The coherency of the universe, intelligibility of nature, rational assumption that life only comes from life, the rational assumption that information (such as in DNA) is only born of intelligence, the rational assumption that laws (such as gravity) require a law-giver, the rational assumption that an eternal, intelligent, all powerful being is the best explicator of the universe. I can enlarge on any of these if required but for now i'll leave it at that.

I contend that because there are so many universal reasons why a person might assume God, and no good reasons why a person would deeply and conscously believe there is no God, it is much more rational to believe in God. Because it is much more rational to believe in God, the potential pro's - an eternal life with the infinitely intelligent and powerful creator of the universe - far outweigh the potential cons -a little ostracisation on Earth.

Therefore it is foolish to say in your heart "there is no God", it is unwise and with eternity on the line, plus no good reason to positively disbelieve in God, most magnificently imprudent.



Thankyou, over to Con.

emospongebob527

Con

I would like to thank my opponent, andymcstab, for his opening arguments. In this round I will offer rebuttals to my opponent's arguments and close. If I refute my opponent's arguments successfully we will not only be left with no reason to believe that denying God's existence is foolish. But, the resolution will not be properly supported and I would win by default.

Rebuttals to Argument 1-

My opponent's first argument rests strongly on the claim that we can assume certain characteristics of God by looking at his creation. He supports this by citing certain assumptions we can make about God due to what we witness around us. I will recite these assumptions and offer rebuttals, respectively.

Beauty-

My opponent's first claim, first and foremost, is question begging. He is assuming his conclusion to be true before disputing the respective premises. He argues that because the world is so full of beauty, then God has knowledge of and appreciates beauty. I see two flaws in this reasoning. Firstly, by what means are we assuming that God exists? Secondly, why does the abundance of beauty in the Universe mean that God has knowledge of and appreciates it? My opponent ought to address these questions before making question begging arguments.

Intelligence, Natural Laws, and Fine-Tuning-

My opponent's next claim is, to no surprise, also question begging. He really ought to established grounds for why God exists before making arguments that rest on this unsupported assumption. Secondly, my opponent claims that God has created and tuned all of the natural laws which govern us. I agree that natural laws exist and that they are tuned to some degree. However, my opponent never establishes grounds by which we can assume that this supports God's existence.

Suffering-

Again, and this should be painfully obvious. But, my opponent has committed another question begging fallacy. Whether or not my opponent can justify the existence of God is an instrumental part of his burden. Question begging arguments like this group are insufficient in this regard because, they never dispute the truth of the claim's premise. My opponent has failed in this argument to prove why God exists and thus, has failed to show why it is foolish to deny God's existence.

Eternal and Independent-

I agree with my opponent that if God exists, then he is eternal. However, I don't agree with my opponent's claim that God does, in fact, exist. As stated before, this claim is central to my opponent's burden in this debate. A burden which he has yet to fulfill. I also agree with my opponent when he says that God must be independent of space-time if he has created it. However, I don't agree with his second premise, the premise that God exists. I will allow my opponent to touch on this moreso in his next round.

Justice-

I am tempted to make my rebuttal of this claim as extensive as previous ones, but I will refrain from doing so due to lack of characters. Like the above claims, my opponent has committed another question begging fallacy. He is assuming his conclusion is true before disputing the premises.


Rebuttals to Argument 2-

My opponent opens by saying that the disbeliever must have some sort of universal substantiation for his disbelief. He then goes on to name two reasons a disbeliever may not believe in God. He says, "The foibles of mans religions are irrelevent, their truth has no implication for the actual existence of God, so the person who strongly disbelieves must have some kind of universal substantiation of his disbelief. He could do this for instance by arguing that the laws of nature are incoherent, or that there is no sign of design in the universe. But ofcourse he would be provably wrong on both counts. If the laws of nature were incoherent there could be no science, while nature implies design so universally that children would come to assume God, even if they grew up alone on a desert island and were never informed of the notion." While I agree that the fables of man's religions have no bearing on God's existence. I disagree that the disbeliever ought to have a universal substantiation for his beliefs. One could argue from a skeptical/rational standpoint and argue that the lack of reason to believe that God exists means that the disbeliever in God has no reason to believe in God. Thus, his disbelief is justified. This claim is a substansiation, but not a universal one. Because, it is contigent on whether or not there is a good reason to believe in God. This is always subject to change.


For the second half of his argument, he lists a number of supposed reasons to believe that God exists, such as, "the coherency of the universe, intelligibility of nature, rational assumption that life only comes from life, the rational assumption that information (such as in DNA) is only born of intelligence, the rational assumption that laws (such as gravity) require a law-giver, the rational assumption that an eternal, intelligent, all powerful being is the best explicator of the universe." My opponent certainly enjoys pushing forth unsubstansiated claims. It seems as if the sole purpose of his arguments are to push forth his unreasonable agenda in an incorrect fashion. He needs to refrain from giving questions begging arguments and he also needs to support his claims if he wishes to make a proper case for God.

Conclusion-

My opponent never successfully supports his position in his opening arguments. Instead, he relies on question begging, presuppositionalism, and he leaves many claims unsupported and never connects them to the existence of God to show their relevance. Until he can do this, we have no reason to accept his position and also, no reason to accept that disbelief in God's existence is foolish.

Thank you and I look forward to your defenses.










Debate Round No. 2
andymcstab

Pro

Thankyou very much to con for his interesting response.


1a:
In his rebuttals to my first argument, the opponent claims I am question begging because I have not first substantiated that God exists. Gods existence is not relevent to the debate, this is a red herring which my opponent, to his loss, wastes 5 paragraphs trolling with. (fishing definition)

It is only important to show that God may exist and that the possibility of Gods existence is not so unlikely that it becomes reasonable to firmly affirm he does not. This is covered in my second argument.

My opponent attempts to claim:

"Whether or not my opponent can justify the existence of God is an instrumental part of his burden."

My opponent is trying to fabricate debate contentions to assert a burden he otherwise couldn't.

Gods existence does not need to be established for it to be foolish to affirm he doesn't. It is clearly non-sequitur as humans are in a position of ignorance. We wouldn't be having this debate if it were any different. Denying him in your heart could be foolish precisely because we don't know. Like drinking water from a pond might be foolish because we don't know if it is clean or not!


1b, Allow me to clarify:
We don't know that God exists, this is granted. But we can assume - if he does exist - as the ultimate creator of love, hate, the notion of justice and so on, that he could possess these charactaristics himself. (arguement 1)

Then
the relevent question is "Is there any reason to assert there is no God?" If there isn't, then the affirmation is clearly imprudent, unwise and rash thus foolish. (argument 2)

All of my opponents rebuttals to argument 1 are thrown in the same basket. This was imprudent, unwise and rash.



2a:
In response to argument 2 my opponent replied:

"I disagree that the disbeliever ought to have a universal substantiation for his beliefs. One could argue from a skeptical/rational standpoint and argue that the lack of reason to believe that God exists means that the disbeliever in God has no reason to believe in God."

But if you remember the contention of the debate "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God, True or False?", you can see that my opponent is arguing his own contention rather than that of the debate. He has somehow equalled "hath said in his heart" to mere 'non-belief', and hoped nobody noticed.

You don't get to a position of disbelieving a notion by nothing. Nothing brings you to nothing, ie neutrality. The step down from +1 is not to -1, its to 0. The person who firmly "says in his heart there is no God" requires something to make him say that!

That something can't just be anything! It must be strong enough to balance the potential loss of eternal life with God!


2b:
My opponent adds:

"For the second half of his argument, he lists a number of supposed reasons to believe that God exists, such as
<recites my list>. My opponent certainly enjoys pushing forth unsubstansiated claims. It seems as if the sole purpose of his arguments are to push forth his unreasonable agenda in an incorrect fashion. He needs to refrain from giving questions begging arguments and he also needs to support his claims if he wishes to make a proper case for God."

Con is just playing smoke and mirrors. I dont need to prove God. He needs to rationalise the deeply held belief "there is no God", and his substantiation must be strong enough to warrant ignoring the potential reprocussions if there is a God. What is most profound is that he never attempted to contend my claims, his only complaint is that I have not substantiated them all. My opponent knows that this is merely due to the constraits of the debate Besides, I said I could "enlarge on any of these if required". My opponent makes this objection but doesn't ask me to enlarge on anything.


Summary:
The nature of my first argument showed that if God exists, we can assume he may possess some of the charactaristics we see in the universe. If that is true, (it has not been contended by my opponent), then we can assume that there may be consequences to the beliefs we affirm on earth. Con has yet to contend any of this, preferring to place his argument on the strenght of his experience in writing and rewriting the word "fallacy". As I have shown though, this is not a valid objection as whether or not God exists is irrelevent from our position of ignorance.

In argument 2 we saw con try to contend that a deeply held & consciously asserted belief that there "is no God" can somehow be substantiated on a lack of positive evidence. But this is non-sequitur as a lack of positive doesnt lead to a deeply affirmed negative, it leads to 0. Dare my opponent try and throw a flying teapot at me in the next round?...

We have seen my opponent:
Wrongly accuse me of question begging to avoid responding to the actual claim of argument 1

Try to make a claim to win by default "If I refute my opponent's arguments successfully we will not only be left with no reason to believe that denying God's existence is foolish. But, the resolution will not be properly supported and I would win by default." - Which is nonsense.

Repeatedly claim that I have a burden of proof to "prove why God exists", when I have no such burden

Repeatedly attempt to shed his BOP, not least by morphing a belief said from "the heart", into a kind of flimsy non-belief and then pretending that the debate is contigent on him defending the non-belief (he calls it disbelief), when actually he needs to subtantiate a deeply held belief, strong enough to warrant ignoring the potential reprocussions if there is a God.


Phew, I am looking forward to a less cynical round 3!
















emospongebob527

Con

I apologize to my opponent and my audience, but I am electing to bow out of this debate. I am far too busy with schoolwork and debates. I also have to prepare arguments for my future debate against Zaradi. (1)

Given all of these pressures, as well as my poor handling on my opponent's opening arguments, I am deciding to concede. Thank you.

If you would like to give me a conduct point for a gracious concession, you may. If not, then I encourage everyone to vote for my opponent.

1. http://www.debate.org...;


Debate Round No. 3
andymcstab

Pro

I am sorry about this spongebob.
I feel like I was too warlike in my response which I regretted almost immediately. I hope this was not a reason why you decided to stop. I also feel like i probably mislead you a bit by assuming God in my first argument.
I wish you the best in your schoolwork and other debates.

emospongebob527

Con

"I am sorry about this spongebob."

It's permissible, so don't worry.

"I feel like I was too warlike in my response which I regretted almost immediately."

No, not really. Your response was reasonable, but it was enough to deter me, somewhat.

"I hope this was not a reason why you decided to stop."

It wasn't a reason at all.

Reasons why I decided to stop:

-I have been extremely busy with school.

-I have arguments to prepare for my debate with Zaradi.

-Your argument from distinguishing non-belief from positive atheism was enough to wake me up and force me to either make a case against God or concede. Lack of time prevented me from making a case against God and it was probably too late anyway, so I just decided to concede.

-I have other debates going on.... two gun control debates and one about abortion.

-I'd rather concede gracefully than forfeit.

"I also feel like i probably mislead you a bit by assuming God in my first argument."

It didn't mislead me, I just perceived it as somewhat irrelevant, so I underestimated it and didn't properly refute it.

"I wish you the best in your schoolwork and other debates."

Thank you.

Anyway, thanks to Pro for making this debate and thanks to any future voters who take time to judge this debate.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
I want to correct something.. in r3 2a
I said "You don't get to a position of disbelieving a notion by nothing. "
I am too familiar with debating atheists.
What i mean to say was "You don't arrive at the OPPOSITE belief by nothing. "

As the person who says in their heart "there is no God", clearly believes there is no God, thus it is actually the opposite to believing "there is a God"
Posted by emospongebob527 3 years ago
emospongebob527
I apologize for the delay. I will have my rebuttals/arguments in by Sunday night.
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
@Weeksie.

The parameters of the argument were set in acceptance.
Con can argue whatever he likes inside those very basic parameters.

I have just tried to describe potential objections and how i would answer them. If con has any objection i have overseen, he is absolutely at liberty to bring it up.
Posted by Weeksie 3 years ago
Weeksie
I wonder, Andymcstab, if you're actually interested in having a debate at all, or if you're just using this site to argue against a straw men. How about you make your case, and let your opponent make theirs. All that time an effort you expended trying to make his case for him, not to mention setting the parameters in which he could successfully argue, is not as beneficial to your argument as you apparently think. Stick to your supporting arguments, and let your opponent come up with his own.
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
"therefore I have the added burden of having to show that belief in a generic "creator of the universe" God is foolish. I cannot refer to hell or heaven or biblical passages to aid my argument."

Sorry, should read

"therefore I have the added burden of having to show that (consciously affirmed and deeply held) DISbelief in a generic "creator of the universe" God is foolish. I cannot refer to hell or heaven or biblical passages to aid my argument."
Posted by gray28 3 years ago
gray28
This statement is false. Believing in God is consistent with folly. Disbelieving in God is not consistent with wisdom. We continue past death and God has nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, the proofs of this are far too long to post in such a limited venue.
Posted by MrDelaney 3 years ago
MrDelaney
I'm looking forward to following this one.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Benshapiro 3 years ago
Benshapiro
andymcstabemospongebob527Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit from con but still bowed out graciously.