The Instigator
Mikal
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points
The Contender
SubterFugitive
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

The possibility of a Christian God existing is highly improbable

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
Mikal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,450 times Debate No: 41865
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (9)

 

Mikal

Pro

Resolution : The chance or possibility that a Christian God exists is very slim and very improbable

This is a shared BOP. I will show that the possibility of a Christian God existing is not very probable, and Con will show that it is probable.

Rules

(1) 48 hours argument time
(2) 10k character limit is allotted
(3) A conduct point shall be lost for the ff of a round, 2 ffs will result in a full 7 point concession.
(4) Failure from con to type "no round as agreed upon" in the last round will result in a full 7 point concession, because it is giving him/her an extra round to respond.
(5) Valid RFDS must be provided with votes.

Structure

Me

R1: Rules and structure
R2: Opening Arguments no Rebuttals
R3: Rebuttals, re building opening arguments and closing statements

Adversary

R1: Opening arguments
R2: Rebuttals, re building opening arguments, and closing statements
R3: Shall type "no round as agreed upon"
SubterFugitive

Con






Terms


God - A being who is supreme or maximally great because he has as his nature, maximal excellence. To have maximal excellence is to possess great making properties like omniscience, omnipotence, moral perfection, etc. It seems we can gradually discover what a great making property is, without undermining the objective notion that God would, by definition, possess all such properties if he exists. I shall such a being hereafter as “God.”



Possible World Semantics [1]

A possible world is a maximal description of reality, not planets or a universe. It's just a way reality might be - e.g., “there’s a possible world in which aliens invade” ... yet there is no possible world where the prime minister is a prime number! So when one says that God exists in some possible world, they mean that “God exists” is true in some description of reality.



Irrational cause: kid bitten by black dog then believes that all black dogs bite kids.


Non-rational cause: physical events or causes.




Burdens


The resolution is damning for Pro since possibilities come cheap for Con. Pro must show that a supreme being’s revelation through Christ is more likely impossible, a very strong claim! He would literally have to defend that materialistic views are near certain. Such views consists of naturalism, physicalism or materialism, or a conjunction of all three. No doubt he will use reason to try and prove this view, but the phenomena of reasoning is unlikely on such materialistic views in contrast to theistic views! Insofar as this is the case, the possibility of a supreme being and its revelation through Christ seems likely given the background knowledge of reasoning, the concept of God itself and the historical evidence for Christ’s resurrection.




The Likely Possibility of a Revelation by Resurrection



There are two steps to proving the likely possibility of a revelation by resurrection. First is to show that the revelator, God’s existence, is likely possible. Then I must show the revelation itself is likely possible; that it is more likely that it's possible God revealed himself through Christ's death, via resurrection.



I. The Revelator


i.Nature of Reasoning


Which came first; the the mental or the material? Christianity, as a mentalistic view, answers that the mental was prior and so rationality is fundamental to the universe. Reality is top-down, the lower levels emanate from the higher levels and the higher levels ultimately create the lower. Reason is therefore more basic to reality than matter since God is the inherently rational cause responsible for the rationality we find in the world. It wouldn’t be surprising then if matter is created with potentialities to produce minds distinct from itself with the ability to reason.



On the other hand materialistic views affirm that matter came first and so non-rationality is fundamental to the universe, it’s simply a by-product of physical cause-and-effect of evolved material, which seems to be an inadequate explanation of reasoning, which involves:



Presuppositions of Reasoning - intentionality or the relation that mental states have to the world, true or false beliefs, the condition of accepting, rejecting, suspending belief about propositions, that logical laws exist and humans can apprehend them, the state of accepting the truth of a proposition and the propositional content of mental states, the causal role of the apprehension of logical laws in accepting a conclusion, the entertain-ability of a premise while drawing conclusions, the reasoning processes which gives a reliable way of understanding the world, and propositionally understood representation.



Steps of the Reasoning Process - First there’s experience involving the reception of facts to think about, self-evidence involving the perception of a prima facie truth of a rule permitting inference, and using logic to arrange the fact in a certain form to prove a conclusion.



Explanation types - there has to be a combination of relations first of how a thought was produced and second of how thoughts are related to one another logically. Such thoughts are about something else, they are either true or false and their propositional content must cause other thoughts to take place. Further, the act of inference must be subsumed under an always true logical law according to which one thought follows another. Thus our acts of rational inference occur due to reality having a feature that corresponds to that inferential process. This reason-explanation combination exists either in a world that is fundamentally governed by blind matter rather than reasons (atheism), or it does not (theism). [3]



Thus Pro must deal with the following question more adequately than the theist if his case is to even get off the ground: “if some of the fundamental causes of reality is not more like a mind, then why is it more probable that reasoning should emerge?”




ii.Concept of God


God, as an unlimited or supreme being, seems intuitively coherent and therefore possibly instantiated. If this is the case then such a being exists in some possible world as a metaphysically necessary being who grounds contingent things.



Consider the fact that we experience in the world that at least something presently exists; and suppose that only finitely many things have existed to date. Such things exist for a finite period of time and so are contingent. If this is the case, and there have been only finitely many beings to date, then there was a state when nothing existed. But if there was a state, then nothing would presently exist! Thus, a causally or temporally necessary being (as opposed to a temporally contingent being) is possibly required to ground reality, since every contingent things has a sufficient reason for its existence.



But if a thing that has a sufficient reason for its existence also has a sufficient reason for its existence that is a sufficient reason for its own existence, then there is a sufficient reason for the sufficient reason of anything. Such a thing is a being without any limitations because it is a temporally necessary being, and no temporally contingent being is a sufficient reason for the existence of a temporally necessary being.



Now if God is unlimited in some possible world w1, and also in some different possible world w2, then God is greater than any other being in both those worlds; otherwise God would be limited by not possessing a great making property possessed by something else. But since w2 is an arbitrarily selected possible world, it follows that it is true in every possible world that God is greater than every other being. Consequently, it is necessarily the case that God is greater than every other being.



From all of this, and since it is impossible for anything to be greater than itself, for it is necessarily the case that "greater than" is asymmetric, then it's more likely that God exists. A syllogistic summary,


1. God exists in some possible world

2. If God exists in some possible world, then He exists in every possible world including the actual world


/ God exists (MP 1, 2)




II. The Revelation by Resurrection



i.Empty Tomb

It was known where Christ was buried. Disciples wouldn’t have believed in an empty tomb and neither would the people, even if the disciples preached about it, if you can easily point to Christ's full tomb. The empty tomb also enjoys early independent attestation: the pre-Markan passion story included the women’s discovery of the empty tomb “on the 3rd day.”



“The first day of the week” reflects ancient tradition, so it's not a late legend because then it would have been spoken of as “3rd day” tradition. Furthermore the empty tomb narrative is simple and lacks legendary development. It also fullfills the criteria of embarrassment given the discovery of the tomb by women followers, whose testimony in those days were considered worthless. Finally, even the earliest Jewish polemic presupposes the empty tomb! They claimed the followers stole the body.



ii.Postmortem Appearances

Now Paul was acquainted with the men who saw Christ (1Cor.15:3-8). His list of eyewitnesses guarantees the postmortem appearances all occurred with Peter, the 12, the 500 brethren, James, all the apostles (Acts 1:21-22), Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-9), the woman discoverers, etc. So the Gospels provide multiple independent attestation of physical or bodily appearances.



iii.Origin

The origin of the entire Christian religion despite strong predisposition to the contrary lends significant attention. Literally, in that time if your messiah remained dead, you either found yourself a new one or went home, you didn't start a new controversial religion in the face of the brutal Roman rule, and the Jewish influence!



iv. Best Explanation of the Facts[5]

Against the resurrection hypothesis R, Pro must offer a competing hypothesis with greater explanatory scope, power and plausibility, must be less contrived to fit the evidence, must be disconfirmed by fewer accepted beliefs and finally must so exceed its rival hypothesis R in fulfilling all these conditions that there exist little chance of R exceeding it in meeting these conditions.



But R has scope since explains all three of the facts at once, power since it seems very probable that the observable data with respect to the empty tomb, the appearances, and the disciple's coming to believe in Jesus' resurrection should be just as it is, by this effect R also seems uncontrived to fit the evidence.



R has plausibility given the religio-historical context of Jesus' unparalleled life and radical personal claims. Finally, R is disconfirmed by few accepted beliefs, except for naturalistic atheism, which Pro must now defend.




Sources

1. http://www.jstor.org...

2. Victor Reppert, 2003, C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason, p.73

3. CS Lewis, 1978, p56

4. Maydole, 1980, p.180

5. McCullagh, Justifying Historical Descriptions, 1984, p.19

Debate Round No. 1
Mikal

Pro

Christian God - (in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.

Note : This is not theism but Christianity, this is to say that God takes an active roll in the lives of everyone in existence. Theism meaning that a supreme being created the universe. So we are discussing the possibility of a Christian God existing, not a Theistic God.

Improbable - This is dealing in terms of probability.

What makes one religion right?

Remember we are working with odds and probability. So the first thing we must look at is how many religions exist in the world or have existed.

"Best estimates put the number around four thousand two hundred (4,200) with 12 being classified as major religions"
[1]

The issue this brings up is what makes Christianity any different than all of these other religions. Remember the resolution is that "The Christian God existing is improbable" . Just from basic mathematics we can tell that it is highly unlikely. As I have already stated we are dealing in terms of probability. According to the best estimates available, the probability of a Christian God existing is 1/4200. For my Adversary to meat his BOP and show my resolution as false, he must show that every other religion in the world is false. The Christian God can not co exist with any other God, due to the nature of his claims. Therefore every other religion must be false in order for the Christian God to exist. Just from the topic at hand we can see this is highly improbable. 1/4200 is in favor of the resolution that is presented .

Remember any argument presented by Con claiming that a deity explains why morals exist, why the universe began, or even why things operate they do is irrelevant. I can fill in any deity in place of that claim (x). Allah gives us morals, Thor gives us morals, Odin gives us morals. My adversary must show that the Christian God is the one true God and that he in fact exists for him to meet his BOP.

Occam's Razor.

There is no need for a Christian God. We understand how and why the world operates, and the origins of life. Occam's Razor is a great guideline for scientific reasoning. It claims in short

"when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better." [2]

This is a basic but essential theory in science. If you have two competing theories. Take for example life

We know life was created by the big bang. [3] This is verified and proven to be a true statement because we can psychically see CMBR [4]. Essential this is empirical evidence. That explains the origins of life. We then have the theory of evolution to explain and why we evolved from a single cell organism [5]. How by chance, adaption, and progress we evolved form a single cell organism, to homosapien, to humans.

We now also know there is no need for a God in order for the Big Bang to have occurred. Lawrence Krauss has showed in his book "A Universe from Nothing", how matter can come into existence from nothing. Krauss makes the argument there are 3 types of universes which are flat, open , and closed universes. We are in a flat universe, meaning we are infinite in spacial extend. There is also something special about a flat universe as well. It is the only mathematically perfect one and it operates with the value of 0. Meaning if you do the math, you find out that the sum total of matter in the universe can cancel against the sum total of negative gravitational energy, yielding a universe with zero net matter/energy. Due to this fact it gives rise to quantum fluctuations, which can produce energy and matter from nothing . [6]

Everything in life is explained by science. The issue with adding a God into the equation is that it is unnecessary. Again operating under odds of probability the resolution is upheld. This is the same argument we can use for santa claus.

For Santa Claus to exist, there would have to be a need for him. Since we know parents give their children gifts and claim that it is santa claus, there is no need for a santa claus. Since this is an empirical fact, the probability of a santa calus existing is very low or highly improbable. This does not change the fact that people can believe in santa claus, but when you remove the need for him and have a rational explanation for why presents get under trees, it reduces the possibility of him actually existing by a great amount. The same logic can be used when we look at a Theistic God, and in this case the Christian God.


Example

[1] In order to prove there is a God, there has to be a need for a God
[2] There is no need for a God in order to explain the mechanics within the universe
[3] Therefore there is probably no God.

For Con to meet his resolution, he must provide empirical evidence to support a Christian God and must also show that God is a necessity.


The Case from Morality

This use to be a huge point in explaining why we need a God. Essentially if there is a objective standard for morality that exists outside of they physical realm, it explains why things are right and wrong. There can be a few truths that explain this

[1] Everything is permissible and there is no such thing as objective morality.

This is essentially subjective morality. That there is no right or wrong and that everything is permissible. This is where I tend to lean. Everything is permissible depending on culture or the framework of a society. Meaning if you were born in (x - time period), your view on what is right or wrong would change. 100 years ago porn ws detestable, but now it is common. Why is that? Because we as a society have changed our perspective and culture. There can be objective truths withing society, but there is no such thing as objective truth.

(1) Murder in America is objectively wrong
(2) Murder in a third world tribe is common

What makes one right and the other wrong? We would be judging the other tribe by our principles. More often that not, this leads people to bring up the fact that God is the objective standard which is faulty. This is where I believe anything is permissible.

if God is the objective standard for all good and evil, it invokes the euthyphro dilemma. This essentially says

"(1) If divine command theory is true then either (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, or (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God.
(2) If (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, then they are morally good independent of God"s will.
(3) It is not the case that morally good acts are morally good independent of God"s will.
Therefore:
(4) It is not the case that (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good.
(5) If (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God, then there is no reason either to care about God"s moral goodness or to worship him.
(6) There are reasons both to care about God"s moral goodness and to worship him.
Therefore:
(7) It is not the case that (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God.
Therefore:
(8) Divine command theory is false." [7]

This is essentially a double edge sword. If what God will is objective, what would happen if God commanded rape to be moral? Then there would be a dilemma.

Another question this begs is the POE (Problem of Evil)

(a)If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
(b)If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
(c)If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
(d)If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
(e)Evil exists.
(f)If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, (g)or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.
(e)Therefore, God doesn't exist. [8]

In Closing

The most logical conclusion is that the probability of a God existing is very low or highly improbable. I have shown there is no need for a God in order to explain the cause of the universe, whey there is no need for a God in order to explain how the universe works, and also how saying a God does exist adds more questions than answers.

For Con to negate my resolution and meet his own BOP he must show how and why Christianity is the one true religion while also showing that the Christian God exists. He must show the need for a God in order to explain the universe, and then answer all of the questions a God brings.

The most logical explanation is that there is no need for a God. We know this from verifiable and empirical evidence. Because there is no need for a God, there is probably no God. For the Christian God to exist, he must not just have created the universe but be apart of the worlds affairs. In dealing of odds of probability and when comparing Christianity to other religions, it is in fact very improbable that a Christian God does exist.

Sources

[1] http://www.examiner.com...
[2] http://math.ucr.edu...
[3] http://science.nasa.gov...
[4] http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov...
[5] http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu...
[6] http://www.icr.org...
[7] http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...
[8] http://plato.stanford.edu...
SubterFugitive

Con





The Likely Possibility of a Revelation by Resurrection



Pro’s case is either too weak or irrelevent. Weak because there is a difference in defending that there is no need for a God and defending that the possiblity of God is unlikely. In principle, even if it were true that the universe is explainable without reference to a transcendent God doesn't mean that therefore Christianity is likely incoherent, which is what Pro must defend.


I also don't need to show that we have a need for God as the explanation of the universe, I just need to show that such an explanation is likely possible! (Again note the funny wording of the resolution).


I also don't need to answer all of the "questions a God brings" since in order for a hypothesis to be a good explanation, we don't need to have an explanation of the explanation, so requiring would hault science in its tracks, because then we’d need an explanation of the explanation ad infinitum! So this is an overly restrictive and even ad hoc requirement. But God just is a more simple explanation for the universe than an infinite causal chain of past events!


Irrelevent because the existence of other religions doesn't play into the resurrection hypothesis R especially given the evidence for it.



I. The Revelator


i.Nature of Reasoning

Recall what Pro must answer the question,



if some of the fundemental causes of reality is not more like a mind, then why is it more probable that reasoning should emerge?”



But explaining reason in terms of unreason explains reason away, and undercuts the very reason on which the explanation is supposed to be based. There are cosmic norms of physics, rationality and morality; and it makes no sense to reduce rationality and morality to physics or regard physics as a sufficient explanation of rationality and morality. Physics is descriptive whereas rationality and morality are prescriptive, why then reduce prescriptions to a descriptive discipline? Pro seeks to do this with morality, yet it’s notoriously difficult to get an ought from an is, and physics and rationality are norms for what ‘is.’



Morality

The concept of God is a supreme being with great making properties, and since it’s greater to be morally perfect than not, then God is the Good, so his commands are just proper reflections of who he is. So asking “if God would command rape to be moral?” is just like asking, “would the Sun emit spagetti instead of Sun rays?” … it’s just a meangingless question! The false dilemma is therefore a bifurcation. Thus morals aren’t independent, nor are God’s commands arbitrary since they are necessary reflections of his nature.


The proper context for the dilemma anyhow deals with a mythology of gods. Yet Christians don’t believe in a multiplicity of gods in the cosmos but rather a trancendent Good beyond it.



Pro must offer a more plausible and less arbitrary moral foundation. And he can’t just equivocate morality with human flourishing, since we can always ask “why think it’s morally good for humans to flourish?” On theism God created humans in his image as beings with intrinsic dignity and self-worth. On atheism we at best have arbitrary and bias flourishing of one species over another.



ii.Concept of God


Occam’s Razor

First, how simplicity is weighted against other criteria like explanatory power, scope, etc isn’t clear. Nor is it essential for science, as Godfrey Smith explains,



"...I do not think we have made much progress on understanding the operation of, or justification for, this preference." [6]



Yes, the razor is used to adjudicate between theories that have already passed theoretical scrutiny tests, and which are equally well-supported by the evidence. But a simpler but less correct theory should not be always preferred over a more complex but more correct one. A theory can even become more complex in terms of its structure, while its ontology becomes simpler, and here it’s not clear which to choose.



Simplicity is but one of many epistemic virtues a theory can have but it’s not the most essential. There are times that the razor is too sharp and reduces reality to too little. Kant says, that "the variety of beings should not rashly be diminished." [7]



Likewise Karl Menger affirms, that "entities must not be reduced to the point of inadequacy" and "it is vain to do with fewer what requires more." The contingency of the universe and morals certainly requires more than, “it just exists.” So "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." [8]



But leave that aside, an unembodied mind is a remarkably simple entity. As a non-physical entity, God is not composed of parts in contrast to the contingent and variegated universe a divine mind is startlingly simple. Such a mind may have complex ideas but the mind itself is a remarkably simple entity. So postulating a divine mind behind the universe most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that’s worth.



Initial Singularity

Given my argument is compatible with an eternal though contingent universe, Pro’s argument here is irrelevent. However the Borde-Guth-Vilenken theorem shows that every universe which is on average in a state of cosmic expansion must have came to be at a finite point ago. [9] And this includes Krauss’ universe unfortunately.



Moreover Krauss is embarrassingly notorious for equivocating the word nothing, a universal negation of all things whatever including empty space, with something. Simply put the false vacuum from which quantum fluctuations arise is not nothing, it’s a false vacuum with many physical laws and characteristics. So Krauss’ model fails as an objection to the causal principle.




Problem of Evil

First, omnipotence doesn’t imply God can do the impossible, he can’t force free choice, that’s a contradiction. However if the purpose of life is to justly experience perfect happiness then how we choose to obtain that happiness must be free. And a world containing creatures who are significantly free is more valuable than a world containing no free creatures at all.



But in order to justly experience such happiness one must be saved from their unjust ways, and so God’s justification for allowing created persons to experience evil is that the great goods of incarnation and atonement be instantiated. But if there were no moral evil and the pain and suffering that come with it, there could and would be no atonement. So the free choice of sin and consequent suffering make possible a level or kind of happiness that cannot be experienced without them, a unity with with a supreme being through mutual suffering like that of a friend in the fox hole of existence.



Insofar as this is even possible the problem is solved, for Pro has incurred a huge burden to show that a world in which God’s creatures always choose justly is feasible for God. Plus even though God is all loving he may have morally sufficient reasons for permitting pain. Pro must bear that this is imposisble.



Nevertheless there is on balance a great deal more good than evil in the world, otherwise everyone would be commiting suicide. And it’s Pro’s enourmous burden to show that any world containing less evil wouldn’t also contain less good.




II. The Revelation by Ressurection


Irrelevency of Other Religions to the Ressurection Hypothesis

Pro misunderstands how probability induction works, you don’t just take the sheer number of competing hypotheses and divide your hypothesis by that number. Note the scientific version Bayes’ theorm,



P is probability, h is hypothesis and e is evidence, b is background knowledge. For instance P(h|e & b) is read as "the probability of my hypothesis given the evidence in conjunction with the background knowledge of the world..."




Where probability P, hypothesis h, evidence e, and background knowledge b that’s relevent to h; in our case the ressurection hypothesis R. What Pro is assuming then, is that the existence of other religions should be part of our background knowledge relevent to R. Even more so he is arguing is that P(R|b) is low at <.5 (0.00024 actually, by his estimate of 1/4200) simlpy because there is a large number of other religions.



But the Christian actually expects other religions to be invented given the fallibility of man to discover God! Thus other religions can’t be used as evidence against R since their invention is compatible. Moreover they are not even relevent because we’re asking what P(R|e) is! We’re asking what the likelihood of the resurrection is given Christ’s empty tomb, post mortem appearences and the origin of the near global Christian church. A very specific question, and Pro convelutes it with more vague and generalized considerations which seem secondary at best. So this is a miserable argument, why not cite the number of physical theories from Anaxamander to Newton in order to disconfirm Einstein’s reletivity?



More importantly how likely is the evidence given the ressurection hypothesis? Since we’re not surprised by an empty tomb, post mortem appearences and the origin of the Christian church, the value is well above .5, from which if one does the math, R is >.5.



So it's fine that Pro can fill in any deity in place of morals, and necessary cosmic explanations, all the better for the intrinsic probability of R! All that’s needed there is that least one diety be possible for the P(R|b) expression.




Sources

6. Theory & Reality, p.215
7. Kant, 1929
8. Hamlet
9. http://arxiv.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Mikal

Pro

Rebuttals

Contention 1

"Pro’s case is either too weak or irrelevant. Weak because there is a difference in defending that there is no need for a God and defending that the possibility of God is unlikely. In principle, even if it were true that the universe is explainable without reference to a transcendent God doesn't mean that therefore Christianity is likely incoherent, which is what Pro must defend. "


This is inaccurate and also makes no sense. I gave a step by step walk through and explained how we are dealing in odds of probability. We can see this in Occam's Razor. There is no need to add a secondary cause for the universe when everything is already explained by science. With this logic anything could have created the universe. We can simply say that (x value), was the cause of it. The tooth fairy, the cookie monster, Barack Obama anything could have created the universe if this is the case.

He then claims he does not need to show that such a cause is truth, but likely possible. I would disagree with this sentiment. When Con is claiming that an external being is likely possible, he must show how and why it is possible. I have shown that the universe and the mechanics within it can be explained by science, Con would have to demonstrate the need to change this. Basically God must be a necessity and have empirical evidence to support him. This is not the case. I have shown this with morals, the creation of the universe, and even the chance of the Christian God existing.


Contention 2

"Irrelevant because the existence of other religions doesn't play into the resurrection hypothesis R especially given the evidence for it."

Again this is false and pretty close to a straw man. We are arguing the likelihood of a Christian God existing.

John 17:3 - "And this is eternal life, that they know you—the only true God."[1]

There are a multitude of verses like this within the bible, claiming that the Christian God is the one true God. With the bible having the claim to this and Christians believing this is true it is a huge factor. If one other deity exists, then the bible and the truth about Christianity is false. Remember we are dealing in odds of probability. It clearly states there can only be one good, so for Christianity to be true every other deity must be false. This makes the chance of this highly improbable which supports the resolution.

Even if pro were to claim that this is flawed in translation, it is found in the original texts in the bible itself. The root word "emet" or truth in Hebrew is usually followed by 1. Basically when you read a lexicon or translate the bible God is often described as "the one true" God. [2]

Contention 3

Morality

Con trys to explain his by saying God could not commit a moral act. That does not answer the question that is posed however. It is a solution that must be solved. If God were to command an immoral act, would it be moral? If so God would not be moral. If he is simply an observer of what is right and wrong, he is not the objective standard for morality anymore.

Either way God is no the only way in which we can gauge morality. The well being of others is one type of gauge for it. Anything that can progress us as a species is another. You can view it like this. Anything that helps or benefits us could be considered moral, anything that causes harm or pain could be immoral. This brings up some other questions, but all can be explain through philosophical thought. This would be a never ending process. Again you are assigning a value to objective morality. Con says you can not simply say human flourishing is a measure, and I disagree. He also gave no reason as to why I am not permitted to do this. Human flourishing by itself is a way to measure it. Anything that can cause harm is bad, whatever does not is permissible.

Shelly Kagan also address this question in what he calls a veil of ignorance. Kagan calls the “veil of ignorance” a place where all prejudices are stripped away, so that someone can look at the topic of morality from a strictly impartial viewpoint. This objective standpoint is necessary in order to come up with a true definition of what an objective morality might be. From this standpoint, objective morality is the set of rules we would give to ourselves if we were perfectly rational beings, and something that could apply to every human being with emotion and self interests left out. For instance, it would be possible to make the statement “Murder is wrong in all possible worlds”, because of the harm it causes to others. All this is based upon the idea of rational and reasonable needs within humanity. This in itself is a perfect explanation for how morality can be gauged. This is essentially based off a proposition made by John Rawl [3]

He is saying (x) is the objective standard for why morality exists. This has to take into account for a few things

(1) If there is actually an objective standard for morality
(2) That God is the one and only external measure for morality

I have just given a few reasons and explanations why there could be other external objects or perspectives that could serve as an objective Gauge. For Con to argue this, he must show that God is the one true objective gauge.



Rebuttal 4

"yes, the razor is used to adjudicate between theories that have already passed theoretical scrutiny tests, and which are equally well-supported by the evidence. But a simpler but less correct theory should not be always preferred over a more complex but more correct one"

Con is missing the principle behind Occam's razor. It is just not that a simple theory that is preferred, but the simplest theory should be upheld until empirical evidence supporting a new theory arises. We do not see this in Christianity.

Rebuttal 5

Problem of Evil

Con trys to counter this by saying "There is a great deal more good than evil int he world, otherwise everyone would be committing suicide". This is a fallacy at heart. Whether or not there is more good or evil is irrelevant and is in fact a non sequitur. The issue is not comparing good vs evil, but answering the question as to why God lets it occur. If God is perfectly moral, he would be compelled to not let evil happen. Trying to weigh good vs evil, is not answer to this dilemma.

Rebuttal 6

Resurrection

I guess Con wants to base his one argument around this. So we will go here for now. Ask yourself how plausible is the Resurrection? Lets start by going over a few things.

(1) Jesus did exist but not as a God on earth
(2) He was crucified
(3) The body was not in the tomb

There are a few issues with this. The first is that I am conceding the fact that the accounts in the bible and from biblical scholars are true. Let us go with that for now. First this is assuming one of ten ossuraies that were found, was in fact the tomb that Jesus was burred in [4]. This is arrived at by writings on some of the walls within the ossuraies. Let us say that this was the tomb.

The crucifixion would have been public knowledge and not just the disciples but pharisees, guards, and everyone in royalty at the time would have had the location or an idea of where the tomb was located. Just think about all the possible reasons the body could have been missing

(1) The disciples stole it
(2) The pharisees stole it
(3) Guards stole it
(4) Tomb Robbers stole it

The case goes on and on. There could have been to many people who wanted to rob the tomb for the claims he was making about being the son of Christ, and that is even if all those accounts were true. The main source to support any of this is the bible, which Con would have to prove to be factual in order to have evidence to support it one way or another. The only evidence outside of the bible, is the ten ossuaries that were found. That does not give credibility to any thing in the bible itself, but just the fact that Jesus existed.

Post Mortem appearances.

I don't even feel the need to go into this deeply but it is self explanatory. This can be explained away by a multitude of things. Hallucinations and the like are probably the most basic explanation.

This is assume that the bible is true again and the accounts in it are accurate.

Here is the issue with using the bible as a source of evidence. There is no evidence outside of the bible that verifies the events that transpired in the bible are true. The bible is its own singular source of evidence. If the bible were true things such as people being raised from the dead, people being cured of blindness, demons going into pigs would have been recorded by a secondary source and this is not the case. We see historical accounts all the way back to Mesopotamia and the time of Hammurabi. This era is no different, if the first civilization on earth could have recorded information the Hebrews could have as well. The only outside source to every mention miracles or events in the bible was Josephus, whom is considered a fraud because of how he lied about the accounts at Masada and other places[5]


In Closing.

I have shown how God is not a necessity and therefore his existence is highly improbable. Everything can be explained with science, and Con is seeking to add God into the equation without empirical evidence. For a Christian God to exist, every other deity must be false, and con must show that a God is in fact a necessity. He has failed to do so. The most logical conclusion is that there is no need for a God anymore, and without the need of a god or empirical evidence to support it the likelihood is that the possibility of a God existing is highly improbable.



[1] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[2] http://www.studylight.org...
[3] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[4] Viegas, Jennifer (2007-02-25). "Jesus Family Tomb Believed Found". Discovery Channel. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
[5] http://www.pbs.org...
SubterFugitive

Con




As agreed I won't debate. Thankyou Pro. Here is the picture I attempted to post about Bayes' theorem in the previous round, which explains hw to properly deal with probabilistic hypotheses:
















P is probability, h is hypothesis and e is evidence, b is background knowledge. For instance P(h|e & b) is read as "the probability of my hypothesis given the evidence in conjunction with the background knowledge of the world..."
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by jesusfreak22 3 years ago
jesusfreak22
Did Con just ctrl-C all of his arguements? I didn't check the sources, but that's what it looked like.
Posted by SubterFugitive 3 years ago
SubterFugitive
looks like folks are voting based on their own arguments rather than what was presented in the debate.. cool.
Posted by SubterFugitive 3 years ago
SubterFugitive
Ya, that's what I was like, alll.. "how do you debate something this easy?"
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
OtakuJordan
"The possibility" ... "is highly improbable"

Say wut.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
Arguments:
Con focused on general arguments for God that have been refuted many times and were made irrelevant by Pro"s more likely explanation for the current state of the universe. Con attempted to undercut reason to support a rational argument for God. This simply makes any claim of understanding more unlikely. He assumed that Pro adopted a difficult burden of proof that the Christian God is unlikely without accounting for the many God claims that could use all the general arguments for God that he presented.
Pro was able to stop Con in his tracks over general arguments for God by offering more likely explanations and making a general God unnecessary. He also offered more plausible explanations for the empty tomb and pointed to other problems in the bible making it a highly questionable historical source. He pointed out that the bible makes many supernatural unsubstantiated claims losing any credibility. That there is no need for God establishes that the known explanations for life and the universe are far more likely. The dispute over morality further discredited the Christian God specifically.
The debate ended up focusing on arguments for a general God, which do not establish the existence of the Christian God and were failed attempts by Con to establish doubt.
Other points:
Conduct since Con bent the rules by posting a picture as proof in round 3; arguably this could be seen as a full 7-point concession given rule (4). Sources since Con relied on the bible as an accurate historical document, which would need to be established since this was not a Bible dogma debate. Pro"s sources were more reliable and accessible to voters with links.
As an aside, a disembodied mind is just about the most complex thing I can think of and there is no reason to suspect that this is an explanation for the universe.
Posted by SubterFugitive 3 years ago
SubterFugitive
I'm posting my pic in the final round.
Posted by SubterFugitive 3 years ago
SubterFugitive
good lord, just reference my pics

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by supershamu 3 years ago
supershamu
That is so you can instigate and have the last word. Seems smart to me
Posted by raymaster 3 years ago
raymaster
Why do you want Con to make his/her case first? Usually Pro makes the first argument.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by PotBelliedGeek 3 years ago
PotBelliedGeek
MikalSubterFugitiveTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: While I personally agree with Con, my votes vote go to Pro. Con loses conduct for loud script, and I feel Pro made more logical arguments. Sources go to Pro.
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 3 years ago
TheHitchslap
MikalSubterFugitiveTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Args to pro: con makes a lot of bare assertions, moves the goal posts, and plays semantics on pro. As such I give pro this one decisively, Sources: pro, were varifiable, whereas Cons was not Conduct: Pro, con uses pictures in his last argument and also introduces a new argument. Con if you cannot get it in the 8000 character limit, then don't put it in and make your arguments better...with all due respect.
Vote Placed by Josh_b 3 years ago
Josh_b
MikalSubterFugitiveTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro admitted to the possibility of a christian god when he admitted to theism. This single admittance shows that he is dismissing evidence to prove his point (poor conduct), his argument defeats itself (unconvincing argument) and con's provided resources are useful.
Vote Placed by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
MikalSubterFugitiveTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Con posted an argument in the final round. While only a little, that still went against the code agreed upon. Argument: Con strayed from the initial resolution. This hurt him greatly. All around, the resolution was difficult to debate from the Con perspective. Sources were well done on both sides.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
MikalSubterFugitiveTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: The arguments and technical debate, like Razor (misconstrued by Con), work in Pro's favor. Yes, the resolution is tough, but Pro garners more offense. Also, most of Con's points are improperly cited. This, plus a vote-bomb in Con's favor merit giving Pro a decisive win. Good debate. There are few such well-done religious debates on DDO!
Vote Placed by Skeptikitten 3 years ago
Skeptikitten
MikalSubterFugitiveTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro provided far more credible and extensive sources. Con seemed to confuse the concept of a god (even an all-omni god) in general and Christianity specifically. Con also never fulfilled his burden of proof in showing Christianity is probable, which requires by Christianity's own claims that all other religions must be false. He seems to make a great number of bare assertions, dismisses actual relevant problems with his arguments as "irrelevant" without addressing them, and provides literally no actual evidence for the resurrection, which is what he builds so much of his argument on (calling the bible evidence of such an extraordinary claim when the NT books were written decades later as heresay with an agenda, already preassumes that god exists, and has no non-biased verification is a huge stretch).
Vote Placed by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
OtakuJordan
MikalSubterFugitiveTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: If we are going off of the resolution (which I firmly believe debaters should be held to) Con wins hands down simply because he proved that a possibility of God exists. Con gets better conduct for the lack of clarity in Pro's resolution. Mikal is a tough debater and probably would have won had he not screwed himself over with the rez. Watch that, man. Both debaters did a good job.
Vote Placed by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. In general Con was not able to establish that a general God is a plausible explanation for anything and Pro was able to point out that the Christian God, specifically, is unlikely.
Vote Placed by yay842 3 years ago
yay842
MikalSubterFugitiveTied
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Reasons for voting decision: reading is my one weakness