The Instigator
JayShay
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Mhykiel
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

There is No Rational Reason to Believe in God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/7/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,141 times Debate No: 86191
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
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JayShay

Pro

Greetings.

I will argue that there is no rational reason to believe in God. My opponent will argue that there are rational reasons to believe in God.

Definitions (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Rational: based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings
God: the perfect and all-powerful spirit or being that is worshipped especially by Christians, Jews, and Muslims as the one who created and rules the universe

Format
Round 1: acceptance only
Round 2: main arguments
Round 3: rebuttals
Round 4: rebuttals
Round 5: conclusion only (no rebuttals or new arguments)

72 hours max/round
10,000 characters max/round

I look forward to a civil and interesting debate!
Mhykiel

Con

Thank you to my opponent for debating this resolution with me.
Debate Round No. 1
JayShay

Pro

Hello Mhykiel, and thank you for accepting!

Before I begin, I would like to clarify what I am arguing. I am arguing that there is no rational reason to believe in God. I am not calling every theist irrational as a whole, just this particular belief. My goal will never be to insult anybody (though it will probably happen at least once), but rather to encourage people to think about what they choose to believe.

I will now address some of the most common arguments for the existence of God and demonstrate their flaws.

The Cosmological Argument (aka the First Cause Argument) states that everything that exists has a cause. The universe exists, therefore it had a cause. That cause must have been God. Ergo, God exists. When asked "what caused God?", many theists claim God does not need a cause. If this is true, it contradicts the first assertion which states that everything must have a cause, which is just special pleading (aka making an exception for a premise). To counter this dilemma, the argument was reformed into the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which states that everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause. This argument makes the assertion that God exists outside of time, meaning he has always existed. Clearly, this is quite a heavy claim. Not only are theists claiming to know God exists, there are also claiming to know how he operates, without expecting to carry their burden of proof. Besides, if God (who is believed to be the most complex thing) did not need a cause, is it so ridiculous to postulate that the universe did not need a cause?

Next is the Moral Argument, which says that if there is no God, there is no objective morality. So what if there are not objective morals? We can still be good people with subjective morality. Theists often ask atheists "if God does not exist, how do people get their morality?" I think there are options people have not considered. For example, there are several basic tenets which the vast majority of life on Earth appear to live by, especially other social animals. To borrow from Matt Dillahunty, the notion that life is preferable to death, or that pleasure is preferable to pain, seem to be universal across all animals. From these basic templates, we can see how millions of years of evolution could transform these into our modern standards of right and wrong. The basic knowledge that survival is generally easier in a group rather than by yourself, thus we should care for each other, likely evolved into a form of behavior we currently call empathy or compassion. Many other social animals demonstrate systems of right and wrong. Our cousins, chimpanzees, have even been observed ostracizing members of their group for poor behavior such as stealing or acting violently. We do not need God to be good people.

The Teleological Argument or the Argument from Design states that God must exist due to the fine-tuning of the universe; our world appears so perfect, so well designed to contain life, it could not have possibly come about by chance. First of all, the universe is not fine-tuned for life. The majority of the cosmos as we know it is inhospitable. Even our own planet does not seem fine-tuned. Less than one percent of Earth's water is drinkable, let alone easily attainable. Look at all the natural disasters that kills thousands of lives and all the animals that could easily kill us. Backing up to the bigger picture, the main problem with this argument is how could we possibly know that the universe is perfect, when we have nothing to compare it too? We have never seen a different universe, so how we can say ours is perfect? When the telephone was created, it was likely believed to be perfect because it was the first device to successfully transfer voice between two ends. But it was also the only working telephone at that time. Currently, we are able to say that our phones are perfect (or at least better) by comparing them with the first telephone and noting the superiority of our phones. We cannot claim our universe is perfect when this universe is all that we have ever known.

Many theists mention how the Earth is situated just the right distance from the sun in a way which we neither freeze nor burn, so there must be a designer who put the planet in its proper position. In reality, the more rational explanation is that life simply evolved and adapted to survive on the Earth's environment. If the Earth was at a slightly different distance away from the sun, life would most likely just look different than what it looks like now and better suited for a hotter or cooler environment.

The Teleological Argument is often explained by the watchmaker analogy, which says that upon finding a watch on a beach and noting its obvious purpose and perfection, one can only conclude that the watch was designed by some sort of intelligence. I cannot see the rationality of comparing a watch, something we know so much about, with the universe, something we know little about. We can find the creator of the watch. We can watch him/her create more watches. We can understand how materials are compiled in the right way to form a watch. We cannot do these with respect to the universe.

Every argument for God that I have heard makes great assumptions on things which we simply do not have enough knowledge about. Humans naturally crave knowledge due to the fear of the unknown. In an attempt to alleviate their fears, people make extraordinary claims to fill in the gaps in knowledge that lack reason and evidence. Personally, I believe it is not only okay that we do not know everything, it is actually quite beautiful. It means that there is always something new to learn, something else to discover. To me, saying "God did it" is not satisfying. The notion that a deity created the entire universe, all of its billions of galaxies, its billions of stars, its billions of planets, and on this one planet that is home to millions of animal species, he cares about this one particular animal called humans... how lucky and convenient that is for us. In my eyes, this egotistic view is similar in nature to the once accepted geocentric theory, which asserted that we are the center of the universe. We are certainly part of the universe, but we are not the center of it.

Just because there are things that science is currently unable to explain does not mean we should be invoking supernatural claims as a placeholder for truth. The truth is something we must work at finding, not something we should make up.

I look forward to my opponent's response!
Mhykiel

Con

Thank you JayShay for debating this resolution with me.

Rational Reasoning
Key to this discussion is to understand what constitutes a “rational reason” to believe anything. Pro presents a definition for “rational”; being based on facts or reason. “Facts” are true statements that are in accordance with reality. “Reason” can be defined as the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.

Logic is the study of inferences from premises to a conclusion. For a first order deductive argument rationality is fairly easy to discern. We can compare the structure of the argument to well known patterns of solid inferences. Then if the premises are indeed true, the conclusion is certain to follow by necessity. Such arguments are not only valid by structure but strong. However in reality “truth” is not so easily discerned. Epistemological debates have been waged for decades about the validity of our senses and subsequent thoughts. While “truth” is easily defined as “in accordance with fact” It is with Logic and rational thought that we use to discern facts about an external reality. And here is the rub. 2 rational people can have different conceptions of the same reality. Even when their reasons are based on the same information. And information that may decide one side over another may never come.

Which is why this debate is not on the existence of God. It is on the argumentation presented by theist and if these arguments are rational. Do the arguments proceed from the premises to a reasonable conclusion.

Inferences from premises
Some of the premises of an argument rely on other arguments. And premises of those arguments rely on other premises, and the cycle continues in an infinite regress. It's preferable to short cut this regress by starting with premises that are accepted by both parties as true. (unless one is arguing an epistemological nihilist, then what is the point?). Eventually some of the most basic premises to an argument maybe logical or pragmatic/systematic assumptions. These assumptions are called axioms.

Logical Axiomatic statements using first order logic are accepted as true, not because they can be affirmed but because their falsehood reduces to an absurdity. Such as the “Non-Contradiction” law of Logic. In which p (a premises) does not equal np (not the premise.) We can't confirm by any investigation that All p are of different value then not-p's. But through an argument of absurdity we know that if p did equal not-p, we would arrive at insane conclusions of the most trivial and mundane of statements. Like a cat being alive and dead at the same time.


There are also Pragmatic Axioms found in systems. The system itself operates on a rule set. To affirm the rule set by the rule set will eventually lead to circular logic. So some rules in a system are created with no more reasoning then that it makes the system easier, or functional in the real world. Examples might be “innocent until proven guilty”. A default position assigned by the letter of the law, because morally as a society we have elected it better to unknowingly release a guilty party then to erroneously send an innocent person to jail. And of course the word “proven” in this axiom is not a certainty in law either, but defined as "beyond a reasonable doubt."

So then we investigate the underlining assumptions we find some are incapable of being affirmed or unlikely to be decided. Then how might one, a rational mind, draw confidently from any starting principle? What justification might a reasonable person have in accepting an axiom, assumption or starting premise as reliable?

Rational Justifcation
As with the word “proven” in the context of law, “beyond a reasonable doubt” becomes a fairly normal measure. Is the premise substantive enough to be accepted in spite of any doubt. Also known as:

Deontological Justification (DJ)

S is justified in believing that p if and only if S believes that p while it is not the case that S is obliged to refrain from believing that p.


Take a person named Jake. Jake is driving through a field with fake barns in it. The barns are plywood cutouts painted to appear real. Upon a random inclination Jake turns off the road and approaches a barn. By chance Jake comes upon a real red barn. Jake then draws a conclusion from the specific (the barn he is at) to a generalization (all the barns he sees) and asserts that all the barns in the field are real. From our birds eye view we know Jake has made a classical type 1 error. A “false positive”. Jake is affirming a statement we know to be false. But the question that is relevant to this discussion is: Is Jake justified in believing the barns are real?


Some remain steadfast Jake is not justified and prefer a Non-Deontological Justification, citing probablity as a requirement for cogent justification. In which case let us say Jake sees a 100 barns, He stops at 20. All of the 20 he stops at are real. Maybe Jake asserts that anywhere between 20 to 100 of the barns are real. Not quite helpful.


So Jake assumes (yeah that word again) that his sampling was truly random, (unlikely Jake doesn't like wasting gas), Statistically we can now assign a confidence metric to his assertion. For the sake of argument let's say Jake wants to be 95% sure of the state of the barns. Real or unreal. Let's say Jake to conserve his gas doesn't mind if he is off by a few (+ or -20%). If jake visits 20 barns and they end up being real he is justified by the criteria set to assert most of the barns are real. I think we can see NDJ is more empirical but problematic. It requires a knowledge of many variables and the extent of a domain.



Descision Making despite presence of doubt
We know most arguments about reality are of an inductive type, that doubt is present in every assertion. When and where can confidence derive from. If we are 90% sure 10% doubtful do we proceed to act in accordance as if the conclusion is true. What about 20% doubtful? 30%. 45%, 49% doubtful. If we are 49% doubtful do we still not have more reason to accept than not accept? So when we are in discussion if a person has rational reason to believe in a statement, there could very well be uncertainty, presumptions, adherence to moral, social, systematic rule sets, and despite a large chance of being wrong still arrive at a conclusion by way of reason, facts, and logic.

In the dichotomy stemming from a logical investigation 2 types of errors may occur. A Type 1 error is where an assertion is the presence of something not there, or a Type 2 error the assertion of no presence of something that is actually there. We can still make rational decisions even if the discernment between 2 states is neglible. Take Pascal's Wager. From a utilitarian or even a more basic selfish directive of doing the least amount of harm to oneself, IF 2 statements are indistinguishable say 50% doubtful and 50% affirming, we can rationally elect the error that will cause the least amount of harm to us in the event we are in error.

Now that we have a summary of what constitutes a reasonable conclusion, we may compare this understanding to the argumentation presented by theist and ascertain if they are rational or irrational in nature. Whether they are derived from thought or emotion. I move to my first argument.

1. "Goedels Ontological Argument".[1]

Goedel is a well known name in the fields of mathematics and epistemology. His Ontological Argument utilizes Modal Logic. An extension of classical prepositional logic with the use of formalized operators. The argument proceeds reminiscent of mathematical proofs in set theory.

Some German Scientist formalized the argument into mathematical equations that a computer (macbook) could then crunch and discern if the conclusion necessarily followed from the premises. To include the 5 axioms at the beginning of the argument. And the result was that the argument is logically valid. The structure of the argument is in accordance with what is generally accepted as correctly inferring from the premises to the conclsion.

So we have a Logical Argument affirming the existence of God that is logically valid. That alone doesn't make an assertion “true” or worthy of acceptance. The big IF, is if the premises and the axioms are true as well. In which case those axioms are:

Axiom 1: If property A is positive, and if property A entails property B, then B is positive.
Axiom 2: If property A is positive, then the property not-A is not positive.
Axiom 3: The property G is a positive property. (G is the property of being "God-like"; an object with property G has all positive properties)
Axiom 4: If a property is positive, then it is positive in all possible worlds.
Axiom 5: Necessary existence is a positive property.

Now I'm not surprised if this argument is unconvincing to many. But the resolution is not on the strength of the arguments but on their validity and reasonableness. And even if Pro finds contentions or doubt with the premises of the argument they must be of such quality to make doubt or rejection of a particular premise an obligation by the believer. A rational person would be under some logical neccessity to not accept the premise as true. If not then the believer quite simply is still rationally justified to believe so.

Afterthought
Pascal said, “The heart has its reasons which reason does not know”. And Max Weber said, "No one knows who will live in this cage in the future... For the “last man” of this cultural development, it might well be truly said: “Specialist without spirit, sensualist without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of humanity never before achieved”. Sometimes the most rational decision is to follow one's irrational heart.

[1] http://www.stats.uwaterloo.ca...
[2] http://www.upi.com...
Debate Round No. 2
JayShay

Pro

Thank you Mhykiel for your intricate response!

I will now respond to my opponent's argument for the existence of God: Godel's Ontological Argument.

The ontological argument is one that I left out of my opening criticisms because it has become so abstract. It has taken so many different forms by so many different people, such that its central meaning has become so ambiguous and difficult to fully grasp for many.

The majority of my opponent's writing was about how we can or cannot logically conclude that certain things are true without the need for absolute certainty, given enough knowledge. Yet, there are no clear reasons provided for why we should accept the axioms of Godel's Ontological Argument as true. Thus the conclusion that God exists is only true if you choose to accept the axioms. If God exists in reality, he should exist regardless of whether we accept or deny his existence. My opponent writes about the issue with Deontological Justification, saying "It requires a knowledge of many variables and the extent of a domain." I believe those very words also apply to Godel's Ontological Argument in explaining why it is irrational to accept. What if property A is not positive? We cannot possibly know that because a certain property is positive in our world, it must be positive in all possible worlds because we have never experienced another world. How can we possess enough certainty to assume that necessary existence is always a positive property? If there was a universe that only consisted of pain and misery, would existence still necessarily be a positive property? We simply do not have enough knowledge pertaining to the universe we live in, nor do we know the extent of the universe's domain in order to use this reasoning in an attempt to reach the conclusion that God exists.

The fact that a MacBook was able to prove this argument true is, frankly, meaningless. Humans built computers. Humans taught computers how to interpret data. Thus, using a device we made to confirm an idea we created is illogical, incredibly biased and does not get us anywhere in my eyes. It is like defining God as "the greatest thing that exists." By giving the concept of God this meaning, then by definition God must exist. This logic is clearly flawed. If we created the word "realicorns" and defined it as "unicorns that exist," then by definition unicorns must exist. Except we have reached the conclusion based on reason that they do not exist. And to the best of my knowledge and reason, neither does God.

If God is real, and is truly the greatest thing imaginable, it seems both unlikely and demeaning that his existence can be proved through equations, let alone proved by a MacBook. Would it not seem more logical that a being of this scale and magnitude would require more effort on our part to prove it is real than only equations?

I eagerly await my opponent's response!
Mhykiel

Con

Thank you JayShay.

I just want to clarify that my remark "It requires a knowledge of many variables and the extent of a domain." was for Non-Deontological Justification.

My opponent has elected to debate this resolution, I spent the majority of my first round elaborating on what constitutes reasonable beliefs. An argument that presents itself with valid structure, sound inferences and true premises is then considered a reasonable argument. This does not necessitate 2 rational people to agree on the conclusion of an argument. And logic doesn't actually discern if something is true or false. It is the study of inferences so we can discern if an argument is rational.

1R. Goedel's Ontological Argument.
Here my opponent opposes accepting the axioms the argument is based on. They attempt to illustrate that accepting the axiom as "true" is irrational because it might not be so. No one denies that there is doubt in the acceptance of any premise or statement. But doubt alone doesn't infer irrational. In fact denying a premise on the grounds of doubt is an appeal to emotion not reasoning. Pro asserts "We simply do not have enough knowledge pertaining to the universe we live in, nor do we know the extent of the universe's domain". So when we don't have an accurate knowledge of the domain to utilize Non-Deontological Justification, we can use Deontological Justification. Which states we are justified in believing "P" is true if we are not obligated in refraining from believing "P".

As my opponent said we can not use NDJ because "we have never experienced another world". So the question becomes in regards to the Axiom 4 "If a property is positive it is positive in all worlds." Are we obligated to refrain from accepting #4 as true? Since this is the burden of my opponent I look forward to him substantiating that we are obligated to refrain from doing so.

2R Macbook tool for Goedel's Ontological Argument.
Pro asserts that the macbook is a tool made by people bias to concluding God Exists. Pro goes on to imply the computer, as a tool, calculating the argument as valid is meaningless. Because humans created computers. The way the computer was programmed had nothing to do with the context of the Argument. The programming followed Modal Logical rules. No matter what argument it was asked to evaluate it would do so in accordance to the rules of Modal Logic. It doesn't matter how hard any one wants 2+2 to equal 6. Plug those numbers into a calculator which does addition in binary format, the result will be 4.

In this case the Scientist plugged in the Formal Argument of Goedels. Meaning the statements were replaced with symbols. And the Macbook programming merely addressed whether the inferences between the statements was valid. The form in which this argument is formalized could have many arguments it represents. If the symbols were replaced with words with the same properties and same interactions the result would be the same sound implication. The Program would only again arrive at the same conclusion "The argument is valid".

Pro then states the argument is circular, suggesting the argument concludes God exists because it begins with "God is greatest existing thing". The argument is one of object-property relationship. If there are positive properties, then one positive property would be to have all positive properties. That would conclude in the necessary existence of a perfect being with all positive properties. The conclusion follows from the concept of "positive property" and the idea of exemplifying properties by entailing them with others. A perfect necessary being is the conclusion not the beginning of the argument.

3R Kalam Argument
Pro's main contention seems to arise with " if God (who is believed to be the most complex thing) did not need a cause, is it so ridiculous to postulate that the universe did not need a cause?" Here he conflates complex with needing a cause. A premise that is not asserted in the Kalam argument. Rather the Kalam argument begins with the observation of causality, in addition with a long regression must stop at the first moment of time in this universe, to imply a cause that is not from within this universe. Complexity of the universe has no bearing on it's temporally finite property. Which is reasoned from astronomical observations and intuition.

4R Moral Argument
Maybe Pro can be specific in their contention. At any rate I want to state that the beginning of many Moral arguments presuppose categorization of actions as "good" or "bad". While Pro asserts Moral behavior can come about without God, arguments attempting to affirm so presuppose such axioms as "harm is bad" or "empathy is good". Even arguments without God incur the use of axioms. While I think the majority of people will accept "Pain is bad for you" this is an appeal to emotion, over any rational thinking. At any point offering a counter argument is not demonstrating or substantiating that the Moral Argument is irrational.

5R Doubt
A recurring theme in Pro contentions with the Theist arguments is not that they are irrational. But that they are not certain, contain doubt, same observations could have arisen through some other means. It's been said, "Only one thing in life is certain and that is that nothing is certain." We operate rationally with doubt. Logical arguments abductive or inductive conclude admitting there is some doubt. Pro suggests that because they can compose a counter argument that the Theist argument is flawed and illogical. This simply is not how we discern if an argument is reasonable or not. Pro's counter arguments are just other arguments that derive a different conclusion from the same evidence. They don't negate the rationale or reasoning in any other argument. There is no casual interaction between Pro asserting an hypothesis and Theist asserting a different hypothesis.

One great thing about using Logic as a tool to help formalize our reasoning is that it works with doubt and uncertainty. It allows us to come to rationale conclusions despite the emotional trauma of fear, doubt, or the unknown. Just because something is asserted doesn't make it certain. If Pro wishes to, they can walk around prefixing all of their statements with "possibly" or "likely". Pro likely exists. Pro possibly is wearing a T-shirt. ect... But this uncertainty or counter hypothesis do nothing to illustrate an illogical inference or irrational line of thought with arguments that conclude "God exists".

In my First round I took great strides to elaborate that if Pro wants to resolve the resolution "There is No Rational Reason to Believe in God" they must demonstrate more accurately where:

1. There is an obligation to refrain from accepting an Axiom as true
2. The premises are contrary to fact
3. The inferences are invalid

I believe he has failed to demonstrate so. My main argument stands. Goedel's Ontological Argument.

1. There is no reason to refrain from accepting the Axioms as "True"
2. The premises derive from an understanding of object-property and are epistemologically factual.
3. Inference are valid as confirmed by Modal Logic program.

Thank you JayShay, I await a great round of rebuttals.
Debate Round No. 3
JayShay

Pro

Thank you Mhykiel.

Godel's Ontological Argument
"My opponent opposes accepting the axioms the argument is based on. They attempt to illustrate that accepting the axiom as "true" is irrational because it might not be so."
The problem I see concerns axiom 4, which states "If a property is positive, then it is positive in all possible worlds." This is an incredibly heavy assertion and there is no possible way to demonstrate its validity, forcing us to blindly accept it as true. If we were able to visit other worlds and note that this property remains positive in all of them, then we would have reason to accept axiom 4. The problem with this axiom goes far beyond simply doubt; the scale of this axiom is so large that we must rely on faith rather than reason to accept it as valid.

My opponent did not explain what exactly is meant by the term "positive" and "world." These term seems subjective, a trait that should not apply to an argument that relies on logic.

"Are we obligated to refrain from accepting #4 as true? Since this is the burden of my opponent I look forward to him substantiating that we are obligated to refrain from doing so."
We are not obligated to do anything. As I wrote above, we simply lack any reason to accept that there is validity behind axiom 4.

MacBook tool for Godel's Ontological Argument
God is believed to be a being which operates separately from time and space. We currently have no way of creating equations that incorporate anything that exceeds the dimensions of reality which we are able to comprehend. Thus using computers to prove the existence of such a being is implausible.

"If there are positive properties, then one positive property would be to have all positive properties." Why? I am assuming my opponent is saying that infinity exists, in which case there could hypothetically exist infinite positive properties. But my opponent must first meet his burden of proof that infinity exists. If we are to believe infinity does not exist, I ask my opponent to prove that the property of having all positive properties must exist within the limited number of positive properties.

Kalam Cosmological Argument
"Here [Pro] conflates complex with needing a cause. A premise that is not asserted in the Kalam argument." I understand that complexity is not mentioned in the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I brought up complexity to demonstrate that it is illogical to think that God did not need a cause when he is supposedly more complex than the universe he created, which many claim must have needed a cause. If God caused the universe, what caused God?

Moral Argument
"While I think the majority of people will accept "Pain is bad for you" this is an appeal to emotion, over any rational thinking." This is not an appeal to emotion. It is perfectly rational. Pain (either physical or psychological) is how we know that something harmful is happening to our wellbeing. When we touch a hot stove, we feel pain because it is causing physical damage to our bodies. When we say something disrespectful to someone and later feel guilt, we feel pain because we have damaged our relationship with that person. I believe that the Moral Argument as sole proof of God"s existence is irrational because there are other methods through which morality can arise, such as through evolution.

Doubt
Of course nothing is certain. The problem with these arguments for God (both the ones I brought up as well as Godel's Ontological Argument) is not simply that they contain uncertainty. The reason they are irrational is because they make assertions with no possible way to test them, to at least give us some reason behind them. For example, we cannot be certain that the Big Bang really happened. But we have evidence that suggests it did. We have done tests and discovered Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, what we believe is the leftover heat from the Big Bang [1]. We observe distant galaxies moving away from us, suggesting that if the universe is now expanding, it must have been compressed at one point [2]. We have reason and evidence to help us determine validity, something we lack with Godel's Ontological Argument.

My opponent requests that I demonstrate where there is an obligation to refrain from accepting an Axiom as true. Where is the obligation to accept the axioms as true? It goes both ways. Next, he asks me to show that the premises are contrary to fact. In reality, there are no facts to even give us a hint whether the premises are truthful or not, especially regarding axiom 4. Then he asks me to show how the inferences are invalid. What suggests that they are valid? My opponent seems to be taking the "well can you disprove God?" route, a logical fallacy. My opponent must demonstrate that there is reason to deem the axioms of Godel's Ontological Argument as valid.

Lastly, Con writes "There is no reason to refrain from accepting the Axioms as "True."" There is also no reason to accept it as true other than faith. "The premises derive from an understanding of object-property and are epistemologically factual." Yet God is believed to be beyond space and time, which are essential properties of an object. Thus the premises of Godel's Ontological Argument could not possibly prove God.

I'll be waiting for your response!

Sources
1. http://www.space.com...
2. http://www.livescience.com...
Mhykiel

Con

Thank you jayShay

3R1 Gödel's Ontological Argument: Use of Axioms

Pro contends there is no reason to accept the Axioms as true because "there is no possible way to demonstrate its validity".


An axiom is an irreducible primary. It doesn't rest upon anything in order to be valid, and it cannot be proven by any "more basic" premises. [1]

I spoke a bit in my first round that there are 2 ways an axiom is accepted as true in logical systems. There are Logical Axioms that are inferred to be true because to be falsified requires accepting the axiom as true. I gave the example of "Non-Contradiction" an axiom of classical logic.

I also touched on pragmatic axioms, these axioms are also known as postulates.[2] Postulates are accepted as true for the system to remain constant. there are 5 postulates in Geometry, such as "Two parallel lines never touch", they are present in Science such as "the speed of light is universal", in Law: "Innocent until proven guilty". Establishing and accepting postulates does not infer that an argument is irrational.

If the axioms were verifiable by demonstration or empirical means then the Axioms of the Godel Argument would not be Axioms but statements reliant on some other postulations or axioms.

3R2 Gödel's Ontological Argument: Acceptance of Axioms

Further I touched on what was a rational way of accepting an axiom as true: Deontological Justification. Also pragmatically if it is consistent with our world and instills consistency in the system.


Axiom 4: Axiom 4: If a property is positive, then it is positive in all possible worlds.

"World" is trivially defined. It is a part of modal logic. A possible world is any internally consistent world. We may say a world ruled by logic but not necessarily our world.

"Positive" has been defined by Gödel in his notes as a property that is aesthetically appealing.

Pro contends "We cannot possibly know that because a certain property is positive in our world, it must be positive in all possible worlds because we have never experienced another world. How can we possess enough certainty to assume that necessary existence is always a positive property? If there was a universe that only consisted of pain and misery, would existence still necessarily be a positive property?"

Here he admits that there are positive properties in our world. He contends if a world were filled with harm would existence be positive? He is using the same Aesthetic postulates that Gödel uses. Pro is implying that avoiding harm is "positive" and enduring harm is "negative".

As we See Pro is accepting the Axiomatic "positive" property to argue that there are no "positive" properties.

3R3. Mac book tool for Gödel's Ontological Argument

Pro asserts "We currently have no way of creating equations that incorporate anything that exceeds the dimensions of reality which we are able to comprehend. Thus using computers to prove the existence of such a being is implausible."

This is not accurate. As I said the computers take in inputs and apply a system of rules, that then result in an output. What can be said is the output given the input is consistent to these rules. As such we use computers to actually tell us about things we can not directly observe. We use computers to tell us about 4 and more dimensional shapes. While we have no experience with hypercubes, we know a cube has edges perpendicular to planes of movement, that the edges meet at 90 degree right angles. And the a cube has an edge for each dimension of movement. We can take this description of a cube into other dimensions and the computer can perform alterations on the hypercube following the same rule set that allows us to perform transitions on a square in 2 dimensions, or a cube in 3 dimensions, and we yes dear I say it assume that the primary rules will remain consistent into more dimensions.

These extrapolations are not "irrational" because we have no direct experience with the environment or world. they are not "irrational" because they are outputs from a computer.

They are consistent with a rule set inferred from primary postulates, aka axioms, assumed by studying simpler models. This is the inductive method of logical investigation and a key component of how science works.

As such, The result of the computer in regards to Gödel's Ontological Argument is: Given accepting the axioms, Given the rule set of modal Logic, given the input of the Gödel Argument, the outcome is the argument has valid inferences.

3R4. Kalam Cosmological Argument

I think Pro misunderstands the argument being made by the Kalam argument. The conclusion that the universe needs a cause is not contingent on how complex or simple the universe is. It is contingent on the temporal nature of the Universe. As far as asking if God had a beginning, to use the same logic of the Kalam would be to assert that God has a temporally regressive timeline just like the universe. While there is evidence for the universe regressing back to a singularity of null time, Pro has to my knowledge none that God has such a timeline.

3R5. Moral Argument

Pro is relying back on an Aesthetic appeal, the same used by Gödel in asserting there were "positive properties", to argue that "Pain is bad for you" is not an appeal to emotion but a rational conclusion.

He sums up with " I believe that the Moral Argument as sole proof of God"s existence is irrational because there are other methods through which morality can arise, such as through evolution."

Again pertinent to the resolution is Pro is arguing that because he has a different argument based on other axioms, based on the same evidence, and gives a conclusion not mutually exclusive with God, then the Theist arguments are "Irrational".

I have spent the last few rounds elaborating on how we reason and what constitutes rational justification that having a counter argument does not mean the original argument was "irrational" or even wrong.

Ideas and concepts ion Science are often over turned. It is not as if Science was irrational one day and rational the next. The contentions arise when new evidence arises that specifically falsifies a premise of the previous theory. Which is in line with having logical justification. Scientist have evidence that incurs an obligation to reject the previous hypothesis.

Pro making an alternative hypothesis to God is fine, but to show there is an obligation to reject accepting the premises of a Theist argument as true, Pro must demonstrate a premise is more likely to be false than true. An actual demonstration not just a contention of doubt. Because the demonstration will allow us to identify how large the doubt should be.

Take for instance the puzzle of asserting "every crow is black". For centuries we could observe only black crows. We would be justified in asserting so. But what if we were in an area of black crows (say 100 of them) and the rest of the world had white crows. With no demonstration of any other white crows there is no obligation to reject the original assertion. Even though the contention establishes doubt it doesn't necessitate an obligation.

3R6 Doubt

Pro proclaims, "The reason they are irrational is because they make assertions with no possible way to test them." This is not what makes something irrational. Pro defines "Rational a "based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings." If I have shown that there are theist arguments for God reliant on reasoning and facts then they are not irrational. Not if they can be empirically proven.


"Irrational is what can not be tested" I would like to see Pro conduct a test to demonstrate this very statement is rational. He may be able to reason the statement out without testing, while his definition and I would contend that to be "rational" his own statement asserts it would be "irrational".

He attempts to show that Big Bang theory is not certain but preferable because there is evidence for it. The evidence for Big Bang are the facts that constitute the premises of the argument. And is reliant on some postulates or axioms as well. Such as that the speed of light is constant through out the universe. Such that Cephieds periodic pulsating is truly consistent, that the speed of the Cepheid moving in reference to earth is relatively stagnant. That intermediate space between earth and the Cepheid have negligible effect on the luminosity.[3]

This is a poor generalization as well. The Kalam Argument that the universe has a temporal beginning is based on the same evidence as the Big Bang. In fact the Kalam Argument encapsulates the Big Bang. The Big bang theory does not assert what started the spatial expansion nor even what was before the singularity that expanded.

The Kalam has observational evidence to support it. Observations that imply drastic change between transient states of matter require a sufficient cause for the change.[4]

Round 4 Conclusion

Theist have rational, reasonable arguments to affirm God exists. Arguments based on observational facts, valid inferences, and rational justifications to accept primary postulates.

[1] http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com...

[2] Define Postulate http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
JayShay

Pro

This is the fifth and final round of this debate. There will be no rebuttals or new arguments. I will now make my conclusion.

While science is constantly making discoveries and encouraging us to rethink what we know, I believe that humility is one of the most crucial traits we can possess. To be humble means to accept that we are not the center of the universe; to accept that we are far from knowing everything; to accept that there is most likely no god listening to our thoughts; to accept that we are but a pale blue dot in the midst of a deep and mysterious cosmos.

Humility is not something I see in arguments for the existence of God. These arguments appear to dismiss the fact that our perception and knowledge of the universe is miniscule. A more rational and humble response to our lack of knowledge is not to say "I don't know, therefore God did it" but rather "I don't know, let's try to figure it out." We simply do not know enough to settle upon such grand conclusions. Assumptions get us nowhere until reason and evidence are brought to the table.

I believe I have demonstrated that there is no rational reason to believe in God.

I thank Mhykiel for debating me. The debate was very interesting!
Mhykiel

Con

Thank you JayShay

What can be more humbling than acknowledging a being as great as God?

A beleif in God has not stopped science or human advancement. But that is a different debate.

The resolution being deiscussed right now is, "There is No Rational Reason to Believe in God". In this regard we can compare arguments given for the existence of God to what we know of rational justification and logic inferrences.

A counter argument that doesn't include God does not make the original argument irrational or even invalid. Only when evidence is presented that expressly rejects a premise does tha argument become irrational to advocate for.

When we look at the arguments given by theist, we find the same elements foud in Atheist arguments. We also find sound inferencesa and the use of facts and premsies to follow to a conclusion.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JayShay 1 year ago
JayShay
I appreciate that you cared enough to write your comment, but you either a) failed to read the debate in its entirety, and/or b) you wrote more out of emotion rather than intellect.

1. Cosmological argument: Everything that exists has a cause of its existence (http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...). Kalam cosmological argument: everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence (http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...). The definitions I gave in the debate are correct. Please do research next time before attempting to claim otherwise.

2. "And as far as what he claims about the universe being inhospitable for most life is quite funny. Has he the knowledge of what life there is in the universe other than this planet?"
I wrote "The majority of the cosmos AS WE KNOW IT is inhospitable" (emphasis added). Meaning to the best of our knowledge, life cannot survive in the kinds of environments we have explored beyond Earth. But most of my argument was about the often harsh nature of Earth, which we have plenty of knowledge about (natural disasters, lack of drinkable water).

Based on your comment, you didn't get further than halfway thru round two. If you really care, I encourage you to read the entire debate and not cherry pick. Maybe comment on why you think Con wins? By the way, the voting period is still wide open... I look forward to reading your RFD that explains not only why Pro loses but why Con wins. It's always nice when both sides of the equation are addressed :) have a good night!
Posted by skipsaweirdo 1 year ago
skipsaweirdo
Pro is simply out of his league here. The very first disqualifying remark by him is his misrepresentation of the cosm argument. It doesn't state everything that exists has a cause. It says everything that BEGINS to exist has a cause. He misrepresents the fine tuning FACT. After all, humans conceptualize what it means to finely tune something. And as far as what he claims about the universe being inhospitable for most life is quite funny. Has he the knowledge of what life there is in the universe other than this planet?
Anyone who would even entertain any more of his arguments as being logical or properly presented are simply emotionalists who use there own preconceptions when reading a debate, which isn't surprising on this site. Pro definitely didn't prove there are no rational reasons to believe in God. After all, by definition all con had to do is come up with one and that should be evident. The reason is that people who have the opposite view cannot even honestly present the Cos argument. They simply have to straw man it to make a point. Hence, the inability by pro to understand and rationally represent an argument is obvious. Therefore they couldn't possibly recognize what is reasonable. Therefore they couldn't possibly recognize whether there is one rational reason to believe in God. And pro clearly shows he is an example of someone who doesn't understand what's rational or reasonable. Pro loses the debate simply because he demonstrates the inability to even understand what the debate topic means even though he offered it.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: matt8800// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Pro. Reasons for voting decision: First, both Pro and Con did an excellent job with their arguments. If the title of the debate was There is No Rational Reason to Suspect there is a God, I would vote for Con because I think he makes some valid points that would be hard to argue against. The title of the debate is There is No Rational Reason to Believe in God. Believe (definition) ? accept something as true; feel sure of the truth of. While I feel Con made a great argument to suspect there is a God, there was no argument to satisfy the BOP that it is reasonable to accept God?s existence as fact. I believe that Pro successfully argued that there are good reasons to not accept God?s existence as fact.

[*Reason for removal*] The vote is too overgeneralized. While the voter clearly has a good grasp of the resolution and of certain points to it, the voter doesn't cite any specific arguments made by either debater in order to demonstrate this. It may be true that Con's arguments didn't apply to the resolution, but the voter still has to present examples of that problem, and explain how Pro effectively met his burden, which is unclear.
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Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: matt8800// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Pro. Reasons for voting decision: First, both Pro and Con did an excellent job with their arguments. If the title of the debate was There is No Rational Reason to Suspect there is a God, I would vote for Con because I think he makes some valid points that would be hard to argue against. The title of the debate is There is No Rational Reason to Believe in God. Believe (definition) ? accept something as true; feel sure of the truth of. While I feel Con made a great argument to suspect there is a God, there was no argument to satisfy the BOP that it is reasonable to accept God?s existence as fact. I believe that Pro successfully argued that there are good reasons to not accept God?s existence as fact.

[*Reason for removal*] The vote is too overgeneralized. While the voter clearly has a good grasp of the resolution and of certain points to it, the voter doesn't cite any specific arguments made by either debater in order to demonstrate this. It may be true that Con's arguments didn't apply to the resolution, but the voter still has to present examples of that problem, and explain how Pro effectively met his burden, which is unclear.
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Posted by JayShay 1 year ago
JayShay
Thanks Rosalie. And Greenrunner, I'll respond to your comments when I have some time.
Posted by Rosalie 1 year ago
Rosalie
I will get a vote up on this by tonight.
Posted by greenrunner 1 year ago
greenrunner
No problem!
Posted by JayShay 1 year ago
JayShay
That's a lot to respond to! Haha I'll wait until the debate is over and if we didn't address your points I'll come back to the comments. I'm in the middle of 4 debates so I'm a bit busy at this moment!

I will say that the point of evolution is absolutely not to kill off the weak. This is the role of natural selection. From an evolutionary perspective, our only job as a species it do whatever it takes to pass on our genes and ensure survival of our offspring.
Posted by greenrunner 1 year ago
greenrunner
You are right in saying that I was raised in a place where you were taught that murder and theft are considered immoral. I was raised in a Christian home sense I was a child. Now my question is that if I was not raised in a home where I was not taught good morals is that my fault? For example if I was taught that it was fine to rob a drug store and it's ok, but I get caught trying to steal should the person who caught me hold me accountable? Also the reason I say you are borrowing from the bible is because you admit there is some standard to live or a right and wrong. Now why do I say that you are stealing from the Bible because this is the worldview that makes the most sense of reality. Evolution say that we should be evolving into a better man, am I Right? Yet every time I turn on the news people are dying and injustices are being done? Now if you where to truly live out what you believe in (evolution) why don't you kill of the weak? I assume you believe that the Holocaust was wrong but why? Hitler was only doing what evolution says to do? Thats just my thought on the matter can't wait for your response.
Posted by JayShay 1 year ago
JayShay
@greenrunner Hello, and thanks for commenting. I believe morality is something we learn through social processes. We learn it from our family, friends, the media, etc. Usually the society forms morality, not an individual. I am assuming you live in a place where you were taught that murder and theft are considered immoral, therefore unless you were mentally unstable you would know that what you're doing is immoral.
And could you please clarify how I borrowed from the Bible to defend secular morality?
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