The Instigator
james14
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mister_Man
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

There is/can be a True Religion

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mister_Man
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/2/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,818 times Debate No: 64399
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (43)
Votes (2)

 

james14

Pro

I noticed a poll on the subject. The poller seems to be claiming that there is no one true religion. This is blatantly ridiculous.

This is what the debate is about: Please Read Carefully:--:--:---

:- I assert that truth about God is no less objective or knowable than truth about anything else, and challenge Con to prove me wrong. The burden of proof is on both of us. -:

Con may either just accept in the first round or accept and start his debate, but if he does the latter I expect him to keep his fourth round arguments short and summary-like as he will have one round more than me.

For the purposes of this argument, we will classify atheism as a religion. Otherwise, this could easily turn into a God-vs.-no-God debate, which I am willing to do---but not right here. Remember, the point of this debate is arguing whether or not objective, knowable truth about God does/can exist.

Please accept, someone! I am eager to prove you universalists wrong.

There should be someone willing to debate this!!
Mister_Man

Con

I saw this poll too, and voted opposite as you, as I can see, so I'm glad you created this debate!

To clear up any confusion, Atheism is not a religion. It is the lack of religion, the lack of a belief in a God or Deity. However you did say for the sake of this argument, we will consider Atheism a religion, which I am fine with.

I'm really hoping this doesn't turn into a semantics argument, and the only arguments turn out to be "can you really prove you exist?" As it would basically be Aerogant part 2.

One thing though - this won't be a "God-vs-No-God" debate, but for you to assert that a knowable truth about God does/can exist, you would need to prove how you know that, and (through my experiences, I'd love if I saw something new) the only real way to do that and to get anyone on your side is to prove that God (any God) does exist.

But please, I'd love to see your reasoning as to how you can assert that objective, knowable truth about God does or can exist.

I'll leave the first argument to you, as you're the one who started the debate, so obviously you have something to say.



Thanks, and good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
james14

Pro

Thanks, Con.

:- I assert that truth about God is no less objective or knowable than truth about anything else, and challenge Con to prove me wrong. The burden of proof is on both of us. -:

That's what we're arguing about, and what I'm going to prove in the affirmative.

First, I assert that truth does exist. This should be obvious, in that without truth conversation and life in general is impossible. Even if truth did not exist, we would have to say "truth does not exist," which would actually be true, so we'd have one true statement . . .

I'm glad that Con does not seem to be one of the postmodernists who doubt the very existence of truth.

If so, this whole debate would be pointless, as what we are arguing about is whether the phrase "truth about God is no less objective or knowable than truth about anything else" is true. Enough said.

Second, since truth does exist, I assert that truth about God is no less-knowable than truth about the rest of life. To explore this, we must first examine how we know other truths are, in fact, true.

Examples of other truths:
Carbon exists.
Christopher Columbus travelled to the Americas.
Bachelors cannot be married.

Now, how do we know that these truths exist? By using reasoning. We users of DDO should know this more than anyone else, as we are constantly arguing about various subjects. We prove our points (that something is "true" or "not true") by citing sources that are apparently "true," using deductive and inductive reasoning as well as other forms of logic, and appealing to the scientific method. Maybe other techniques are used. I argue that the above methods of finding "truth" are self-evident. To summarize:

A) Examining/reading sources that we know to be highly accurate [We know they are accurate using B and C]
B) Using logic/reasoning
C) Using the Scientific Method, which is based off logic.

Looking at the above examples:
Carbon exists (C)
Christopher Colombus travelled to the Americas (A)
Bachelors cannot be married (B)

This is what Con said:

"One thing though - this won't be a "God-vs-No-God" debate, but for you to assert that a knowable truth about God does/can exist, you would need to prove how you know that, and (through my experiences, I'd love if I saw something new) the only real way to do that and to get anyone on your side is to prove that God (any God) does exist."

Why? There are myriad atheists on this site that assert that their "religion" is scientifically proven.
They claim that, objectively, God does not exist. What prevents us from evaluating the evidence and arriving at a conclusion?

This is how I know knowable truth about X can/does exist using logic:

Truth exists. The opposite of true is false. Therefore, if X does exist, X cannot not exist. One of the two must be true. That one would be the objective truth.

It is impossible to not have an objective truth on a topic. Even if we do not know it, and even if it changes, there is truth, and using the above methods we can often discover it. I challenge Con to prove otherwise.

Now, why can't we use those same methods to discover truth about God? We may not be able to ABSOLUTELY prove or settle the question about whether God exists or is represented by a particular religion, but, just as in the rest of life, we should be able to discover enough evidence to PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that He exists or does not exist and also at least fundamental aspects of His personality and/or character (if He does exist).

After all, we cannot know for certain that Christopher Columbus existed, but that's where the evidence points.

From a Christian perspective, I would point to the historical evidence supporting the Gospel accounts, the historical evidence of Jesus, the impossibility of the universe exploding out of nothing, and other logical evidences to support my claim that the Christian God exists. However, that is not intended to be something for Con to counter. I am just pointing out my interpretation of the evidence, which I believe leads to a Christian God. Muslims believe in Allah. Atheists believe in no God at all. New Age people believe in the Divine Oneness.

These claims are all supported by evidence.
But-:-:-
These truth claims cannot all be true, as they are mutually exclusive.

The point is: God cannot both exist and not exist.
God cannot both have a Son and have no son.
God cannot both BE the world and have CREATED the world.

Logic leads us to the above conclusions. Religions are in some respects similar, but the main ones differ on most of the important issues. Similarly, God cannot both be all-good and bad, or universal and nonuniversal. Logic precludes us from holding two mutually exclusive or contradictory claims. One of those must be true, and that one is the objective truth.

Objective means that a belief is based on knowable facts, rather than feelings or opinions.
Objective truth is a truth that is true all the time, in all places, and at all times.

And how can we know it? We discover it by using reasoning and logic. We may arrive at different conclusions, but if they are contradictory only one can be right. As one belief actually is true, the believer can be said to "know" the truth. Therefore, objective, knowable truth can/does exist.

To word this another way:
Con cannot prove that objective truth does not exist on a topic, for if he proved that he would have proved that objective truth does not exist on that topic, which would be an objective truth.
Con cannot prove that knowable truth on a topic does not exist, for if he proved that he would have proved that knowable truth on that topic does not exist, which would be a knowable truth.

Wow. I feel I have learned a lot just writing this. Over to Con, and good luck.
Mister_Man

Con

Thanks, James.

First of all, sorry for taking so long and waiting for the last second to get back to you, but at least I'm here!

Absolute truth is extremely hard to come by, however I agree with you that truth does exist, glad we cleared that up.

I love talking with those types of people who just cannot come to the conclusion that "truth" does exist, in this reality anyway, and ends up going in circles about "well how do you know this universe really exists?" It's so much fun...

Evaluating evidence would be great if there was evidence. But a lack of evidence, I agree, is not evidence for a "non-existence."

You're right that truth exists. However the reason we can't use the same methods to examine or prove a "God" exists is because there is currently no observable or testable experiments we can conduct on such a "God."

The difference between proving God exists and proving a tree down the block exists is that we are able to see other trees, see how far apart they grow, see what types grow where, and we can just walk to the end of the block and see with our own eyes if there is a tree there or not.

I may have taken everything the wrong way, you're arguing for the "truth" about God, right? And not the "truth" that a God does or does not exist? As I am arguing that it would be more "true" that a God does not exist than does.

I agree that logic does preclude us from holding two mutually exclusive or contradictory claims. One is true, you're right, so now we're arguing about which one is true.

Alright I see what you're getting at. And now I see why you said for the sake of this argument, we'll consider Atheism a religion. Atheism is not a religion, as it is simply a lack of belief in a deity or religion. However if we wish to consider Atheism a religion, we can say it's the religion of nature. We don't believe God created the universe, and we have reasonable evidence to show that God did not create the Earth, and we have more sound hypothesis regarding the origins of the universe other than "it was created by God." For someone to say they believe in a religion is almost always blind faith. Sure, there are accounts in the Bible that to add up historically, however because someone wrote a book of metaphors and basically overall positive ways to live life, does not mean it makes that religion as a whole actually "true."

Atheism, as a religion, is the study of the universe around us. What makes Atheism true is that it studies observable evidence and particles. We can prove right off the bat that what Atheism "studies" actually exists, as we can see it, and test it. Undesirable and unobservable claims are not thrown out the window, however the lack of any type of evidence is really the main factor that leads us to believe Atheism is more credible than any kind of Theism.

Objective truth does exist. What the objective truth actually is, is a whole other story, and the difference between Atheism is Theism is Atheism has testable and observable studies.
Debate Round No. 2
james14

Pro

:- I assert that truth about God is no less objective or knowable than truth about anything else, and challenge Con to prove me wrong. The burden of proof is on both of us. -:

Con says, "You're right that truth exists." That was essentially what I was arguing, that truth about God is no less objective than anything else. Or at least that was the first part.

The second part, that truth about God is no less knowable than truth about anything else, is what Con really seems to be addressing: (at first glance):- :_\/:->

"However the reason we can't use the same methods to examine or prove a "God" exists is because there is currently no observable or testable experiments we can conduct on such a "God. You're right that truth exists. However the reason we can't use the same methods to examine or prove a "God" exists is because there is currently no observable or testable experiments we can conduct on such a "God." Con goes on to explain how we can see a tree with our own eyes while we cannot see God.

Now, I would object to this. Christians have created logical proofs for God. They appeal to the Bible as an authoritative book that is "true." They claim that science supports Creationism. The first attribute of God that should be considered is his existence; whichever way you go (Atheism or Creationism) there is evidence. Again, I am not claiming both are valid. Obviously one is wrong. But I am disputing Con's point that we cannot use these methods to "prove" God exists. We may not be able to "prove" to certain skeptics that God exists, but we are able to "prove beyond a reasonable doubt," which is all that is needed in a court of law. I refer you to Norman Geisler if you wish to investigate the subject in far greater detail. He has co-authored one less-academic book titled "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist" that logically and thoroughly advances the scientific and logical defense of the Christian God.

And if God does exist and did create everything, then logically He must be eternal, immaterial, personal, all-wise, all-powerful, all-good, and several other attributes. There is a logical route that can be taken regarding God.

However, I now see that Con likely misapprehended and/or misconstrued the whole point of this debate. I tried to make it very plain:

:- I assert that truth about God is no less objective or knowable than truth about anything else, and challenge Con to prove me wrong. The burden of proof is on both of us. -:

By "truth about God," I meant truth in areas such as the existence of God, the power of God, etc.. I did not mean MY truth about God (Christianity) but THE truth about God, whatever it is. In other words, I was simply asserting that truth about God exists and we can know it.
Whether that truth be atheism, Christianity, Judaism, Shintoism, or whatever.
I thought the point was clear.

Sadly, Con misunderstood, and I now see that he is simply an atheist seeking to disprove MY idea of the truth about God, i.e. that God exists.
I tried to make it obvious that that was not the point of the argument. That was the sole reason I classified atheism as a religion, so that Con could not claim all religions were false and turn this into a "God/no god" debate, which I emphasized that I didn't want.

One last time:

:- I assert that truth about God is no less objective or knowable than truth about anything else, and challenge Con to prove me wrong. The burden of proof is on both of us. -:

Well, I think I automatically win this. Con actually agrees with me. See, he thinks that atheism is the objective, knowable truth ("religion" for the purposes of this debate) about God. All I was arguing was that objective, knowable truth about God does/can exist, and now I see Con cannot dispute this as he believes the same. He just differs on which truth is the objective, knowable truth, as he pointed out in the last line:

"Objective truth does exist. What the objective truth actually is, is a whole other story, and the difference between Atheism is Theism is Atheism has testable and observable studies."

I'm sorry, Con, about the misunderstanding. And I'm sorry, all you watchers, that this debate is a bit of a mistake. I hope I showed you, however, in my 2nd round argument, that objective, knowable truth about God does exist, and how to argue with anyone who thinks otherwise.

Again, I'm sorry.
However, my sorry-ness does not prevent me from asking everyone reading this to vote Pro, as I upheld the clearly stated point of the debate. It is not my fault Con misunderstood.

Since I still have about half my characters left, I would like to address some atheistic points Con made:
(Please bear in mind the stated point of the debate is already resolved: this should not affect any voting.)

"Alright [please, by the way, don't spell it like that: the proper spelling is "All right"] I see what you're getting at. And now I see why you said for the sake of this argument, we'll consider Atheism a religion. Atheism is not a religion, as it is simply a lack of belief in a deity or religion. However if we wish to consider Atheism a religion, we can say it's the religion of nature. We don't believe God created the universe, and we have reasonable evidence to show that God did not create the Earth, and we have more sound hypothesis regarding the origins of the universe other than "it was created by God." For someone to say they believe in a religion is almost always blind faith. Sure, there are accounts in the Bible that to add up historically, however because someone wrote a book of metaphors and basically overall positive ways to live life, does not mean it makes that religion as a whole actually "true."

Atheists don't "believe" that God created the universe. They do so despite all the evidence that precludes the possibility of it coming into existence any other way. Again, may I refer to "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist"? Their "belief" is no more valid than "belief" in a god, as the evidence does not support this particular claim. What evidence do atheists have that the universe created itself, or that it is continually rebounding? None. As I said before, Christianity need not be blind. My Christianity at least, if I may speak for myself, is not blind.

"Atheism, as a religion, is the study of the universe around us. What makes Atheism true is that it studies observable evidence and particles. We can prove right off the bat that what Atheism "studies" actually exists, as we can see it, and test it. Undesirable and unobservable claims are not thrown out the window, however the lack of any type of evidence is really the main factor that leads us to believe Atheism is more credible than any kind of Theism."

Now here is where Con goes really wrong. "Atheism" is not synonymous with "science." Science may or may not support atheism, but atheism is a belief system, and at that a belief system that does not always line up with the evidence.
And atheism does not just address science. Atheism also addresses philosophy, in claiming there is no absolute morality and certain other things about man's being, and theology, in claiming God does not and has never existed.

A lack of evidence? I would say a disregard of evidence that doesn't support their theories. Again, I refer you to Norman Geisler. He has turned out a ton of evidence for the Christian faith, and my opponent cannot make the kind of claims he is making without investigating any of this evidence. I think the issue is ignorance, illusion, and intractability rather than any inadequacies in the Creationist stance.

Again, this has nothing to do with the stated question of the debate, so our God/no-god" exchange should not influence voters. But I encourage Mister_man to challenge me to a debate about evolution, or the existence of god.
Mister_Man

Con

Let me take a different approach. I was at work for the last round and was kind of rushing.


I apologize for misunderstanding and being ignorant about the topic. You did make that obvious, but the more I read the more I wanted to go off on a separate topic. Hopefully you can understand my mistake and allow us to continue this debate the way it should be.

I do have my own arguments, and I do understand the topic, and if you could please consider this round, I'd appreciate it. I won't go off-topic. This is regarding absolute truth (or truth beyond a reasonable doubt) about the existence, or non-existence, of God or religion in general (but mostly God.)



Absolute truth exists. ...Inside this reality. To say a God exists, an all-knowing deity, that we cannot understand completely, would imply he is beyond our level of knowledge. Although I agree that because we don't know the truth doesn't mean a truth doesn't exist. However when we refer to truth, we are speaking naturally, as this is our form of truth. Supernatural truth is (currently) impossible to come by. God is a supernatural being, I'm sure we can both agree on that. To say "logical proofs of God" is a complete contradiction, as God goes beyond our current understanding of logic. We can not deduce God with logic, as God is beyond our level of logic. I might come back to this later.

Creationism is a theory. A theory that has come from a lack of answers for other theories, such as the Big Bang or Quantum Fluctuations or an Infinite Universe. However there is a big difference between creationism and any of the aforementioned theories, and that is logic and supernatural phenomenon. No Christian has proved beyond a reasonable doubt, according to our laws of logic, physics, time, space, matter, etc. that it is highly probable that a God does exist. They have given theories, sure, but most are either backed up with "your theories haven't been proved, therefore God exists," or "the Bible is the word of God, and similar events happened (aka prophesies), therefore we know God exists because humans cannot see into the future." Both of these arguments are theories, and we cannot rule these out as completely wrong, but logically speaking, they aren't as sound as any scientific theory, based on observations of the universe and time and relativity, etc.

But like I said before, I don't want this to be a "God vs. No God" debate, as there are way too many of these already on this site.

Saying "I have faith to be an Atheist" is also a complete contradiction. Atheism is the lack of belief in a God. It doesn't take faith to not believe in something. I don't see the flying spaghetti monster, so I don't believe he is there. To not believe something is the opposite of believing something.

"Logically he must be immaterial..." This is also a complete contradiction of the term "logically," as logically speaking, "immaterial" is impossible, and so-called "dark energy" has been hypothesized to not even exist, and scientists have found sound evidence to support this theory [1], [2], [3].

Supernatural is the exact opposite (and once again, a contradiction) of logical, as logical implies whatever is happening follows our current understanding of the laws of reality (for the most part), and supernatural is... well, not natural, and not part of our reality.

I really do apologize once again, for misinterpreting/going off on a tangent here. I did not mean to ignore the debate, and reading my previous response to yours, I'm really ashamed at how ignorant it all sounds.

I guess I'll go ahead and disagree with most of what I said in my previous response (if you're okay with that) and actually form a rational argument, and not an "agreement." I wasn't even following my own philosophy, and I really don't know why I chose to go on that path other than I was running incredibly short on time and wanted to at least get a reply in.

Now... Like I said previously, supernatural is not natural (I'm sure we can agree on that?), and logic is our understanding of the naturalistic world/universe/everything. We do not base our logic or reasoning on supernatural ideas, hypothesis, theories, etc. However, we cannot rule out the existence of the supernatural. In a supernatural sense (God), there could be multiple "truths." This is a state of physics that goes beyond the laws of reality. We have not witnessed matter moving faster than the speed of light. We have not concluded that it is possible for matter to move faster than the speed of light. This is referring to reality; logic. To go outside of our reality would mean we would need to (most likely) completely drop all our laws around logic, and find different ways to come to conclusions.

How do we come to a supernatural conclusion? Nobody knows. Does anything supernatural exist? Nobody knows. Is there one definitive supernatural conclusion? Once again, nobody knows. All this goes beyond our laws of reality, which in turn means we don't have the right methods to study, observe, test, and come to any sort of conclusion regarding a supernatural hypothesis.

Your argument is that there is a truth in everything. You're right, according to our ideas of what logic and reality are, there is an absolute truth. However when we talk about something outside of our reality, it is impossible to come to a definitive conclusion.

If it is impossible to enter another reality, another dimension, another universe... then it is also impossible to deduce that a God exists, or even assert that a God doesn't exist. I personally don't believe in a God, because the idea of one goes WAY beyond our level of logic and idea of reality, but I would never assert that one absolutely does not exist, because it is impossible to conduct tests on supernatural beings.


I believe this is all I have to say. I hope you haven't given up hope in this debate, and I hope I have redeemed myself in your eyes enough for you to take my argument seriously. I (once again) apologize for going off on a completely separate argument in my previous round.

I'd be more than happy to have a debate regarding the existence of God, the origins of the universe, and really anything to do with space or time, but I'd be even more pleased if you continued this debate and you haven't given up due to my atrocious first reply.

Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you.

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

[2] http://preposterousuniverse.com...

[3] http://science.time.com...
Debate Round No. 3
james14

Pro

Con, you are forgiven.

To quote, Con, believes, ""logical proofs of God" is a complete contradiction, as God goes beyond our current understanding of logic.
Can you spot the problem here? We are using logic to address the impossibility of using logic. If Con is right then we know at least one absolute truth about God: We cannot know anything about Him. Hence, the religion of the agnostic.
However, if logic truly doesn"t apply to God, as Con believes he has proven, then nothing"literally nothing"is impossible for God. Which would mean He could be logical and illogical, existent and non-existent. This may or may not be Con"s position, but in my mind such beliefs are untenable.

Which leads to my next point: God cannot be illogical. Otherwise, there would be no problem of evil, and God would be able to make a square circle. But the human mind recoils at such egregious breaches of reason as "God can be both good and evil" and "God can make a hexagonal square." Since God created man"s logical mind, he must therefore be both more intelligent and more logical than man.
But going beyond that, why must God by beyond our understanding? John Shook, an avowed atheist, argues that humans will never have any proofs for God. His argument"s first premise is that, "Humans will never have the cognitive capacity to directly understand anything with infinite powers or qualities."
This also is also flawed, as I will demonstrate. Shook"s first premise is incorrect. To begin with, he is right in that we cannot hold in our heads the complete set of infinity. However, that does not mean we cannot understand the existence of infinity and what it consist of, as well as whether something is infinite. For example, a line is mathematically understood to be infinite in length.

So, there is nothing to prevent us from accrediting a concept with certain infinite qualities. Therefore, premise 1 falls. I, for one, understand that a line is by definition infinite in one quality. There does not seem to be any reason why I cannot rationally credit God with infinite qualities also.

Shook"s second premise seems to be that natural evidence never requires a being with infinite powers. Shook claims that even miracles are not adequate proof of God and that they are probably just a new natural law we don"t know about yet.

This leads to my next point:
Even if the sphere of the supernatural were illogical, we are not in the sphere of the supernatural. We live, think, and write in the sphere of the natural. Therefore, there is nothing that prevents us from rationally and logically investigating God from our perspective in the finite.
To give an example:
Some physicists believe that the laws of physics break down in a black hole. One could ask how they could believe in a black hole since the laws of physics break down there, but the reality is simple. A black hole is something that scientists can see evidence for; the gravitational effect on the speed of gas clouds is evidence, for one thing. The point still should be clear:

Evidence for that which appears to transcend laws of science can exist. It is not a contradiction to state that we use science to postulate a suspension of certain laws of science. Science (as a process) is the human study of phenomena and the attempt to explain those phenomena by formulating hypotheses concerning, generally, natural causes. There is a difference between the laws that science constructs and the process of science itself. The former are the results of the latter, and the latter can at any point, overturn the former.

That is why it is not unscientific to postulate a failure of the laws of science. The theory that best explains phenomena should be accepted, regardless of the other scientific laws that may be overturned or suspended. By the way, this is the reason atheists complain there is no "evidence" for the supernatural: that which appears to be supernatural can be evaluated as scientifically as the completely natural.

Black holes have evidence. Regardless of whether scientific laws break down IN a black hole, OUT of the black hole they are still in effect. Therefore, the effects of that which transcends the laws of physics can be evaluated in a plane where the laws of physics still apply.
We know black holes exist because their effects on the universe cannot be explained otherwise.

My point: The supernatural (or infinite) can be proven based on its interactions with the natural (or finite).
If the natural laws of science were unable to address particular phenomena, then we are still able to use the process of logical induction to arrive at a conclusion regarding a potentially supernatural explanation.

Suppose, for example, one afternoon I was sitting in front of a movie when suddenly a portal opened and I was sucked into the fantasy world of the movie. After a decade of exciting adventures, I returned and was surprised to find the real world exactly as I left it.

To my parents and friends I am now much older, have a long beard, gold rings, a video recording of selected interviews with elves, and in addition have the power to transform my least favorite relatives into members of Class Amphibia.

Now, my biology-major parents are shocked. Their understanding of the immutability of natural law is shaken. They have a number of options: Believe I faked the whole thing or someone else did. Or believe me, and necessarily believe in another world, complete with elves and magic, that may presumably be accessed through certain televisions.

Now, my example is fanciful. However, I am pointing out that the scientific method could still be used. Even in support of an alternative realm of reality. In the above example evidence was found in our scientifically investigable world that another world exists. In the above scenario, most people would take option 1). However, such an answer would be necessarily unscientific, as it would put theory before facts.

To say God is independent of natural laws does not mean He is independent of logical ones. Induction can still be used to investigate God.

I believe that Con is confusing the laws of science with the process of science. I furthermore contend that supernatural evidence could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the supernatural exists. Regardless of the efficacy of logic elsewhere, it works here, and can be used to investigate phenomena with only a supernatural solution.
Con"s second argumentative paragraph seems to confer with the above. I think Con and most atheists would reasonably reconsider their non-belief in the supernatural if given evidence to the contrary.

In passing, non-belief is also a belief: the belief God isn't.

I agree that supernatural does not equal natural. But again Con is confusing logic and induction with the laws the former have formulated. In fact, both atheists and creationists have formulated syllogisms that address God. The existence of God, as seen from this realm, can be proven or disproven, which is all I really need to assert.

Now, if evidence were found for the supernatural, then naturalists would have to admit that supernatural phenomena would be possible. I need only say that quite a few naturalists HAVE found evidence for the supernatural based on logic and evidence, and as a result believe in it.

To conclude:

1.The laws of science are distinguishable form the inductive investigative process of science itself.
2.As a result, God can be beyond natural law but still within logical law.
3.Logically, God cannot violate logic.
4.Even if God were illogical, the effects of His intervention in the natural world could still be logically judged insofar as they were impossible to explain using "natural" laws.
5.Supernatural events or claims can be scientifically investigated

Summary: supernatural phenomena can prove God (to the open minded). And supernatural evidence can be judged objectively.
Ergo: we can know if God exists.

Thanks for the debate.
Mister_Man

Con

Thank you.

"Currently not knowing" is not absolute truth... If you wish to be honest, we have to understand that Atheism and Agnosticism are not religions, or even beliefs. I understand why you said earlier for the sake of this argument that we will consider Atheism a religion, but if we really are talking about the truth, then we have to say what is truthful. This would be a debate over who can come up with the most believable argument, but they can make up the rules to reality as well.

I'll point out three things:

Your Agnosticism argument makes sense, if we consider Agnosticism an actual religion, something it is not.

However you did not specify that along with Atheism, we will consider Agnosticism to be a religion in the rules.

If we are looking for the truth, we have to accept that both Atheism and Agnosticism are both truthfully a lack of belief, and for our argument to even be relevant to reality, we have to consider the truth, as this is what the argument is all about.

--

To say logic does not apply to God would mean we would have to have a complete understanding of what logic is, inside and outside our reality, universe, perception of reality, and so on, especially considering "God" is a supernatural deity. Do we? I don't know. Nobody truthfully knows. And we are looking for the truth.

God cannot be illogical

You said it yourself - "he must therefore be both more intelligent and more logical than man." - He is beyond our understanding of logic. Our knowledge of what logic is falls into our understanding of reality. God, not being a part of our understanding of reality and logic, is unable to be proved, considering it is possible for him to exist and not exist, since we cannot prove we have absolute knowledge of how the universe(s) work(s).

Thanks for the argument against what John Shook said, however there is a huge flaw in your argument. John said "something with infinite powers and qualities." You simply said we understand the concept of infinity. Although we understand a very small portion of what fundamental aspect makes up what God could be, this does not mean we know that God does or does not exist.

You're correct, we are not in the sphere of the supernatural. We are unable to perform tests on or study the supernatural in any way, and it will most likely be impossible to do so as long as the human race is around to witness it.

"That is why it is not unscientific to postulate a failure of the laws of science." You are absolutely correct. Science is the study of natural phenomenon. However because we have not found a method to discover or test any type of possible supernatural phenomenon doesn't mean one doesn't exist.

"Black holes have evidence." Once again, you are correct. So we can actually scientifically study something that goes against the laws of science. This however is one example. Black holes are not supernatural, and do not go beyond the laws of reality. They go beyond the laws of our understanding of science in this area of space.

"...regarding a potentially supernatural explanation." Emphasis on potentially, I assume? We have not come to a sound conclusion. A "truth" has nothing to do with "our final answer is... we don't know."

I like your example. However this is not whether or not we believe in something, it is if it has an absolute truth. Regarding your magical portal with elves, the absolute truth would be that you did in fact go to that place, and that place actually does exist. I mean of course someone could use the argument "maybe this is all just an infinite dream for you," but we won't go there... The absolute truth, according to our understanding of the term and according to our laws of logic, reason, science, etc. is that you did go to that place, whether anyone wants to believe you or not. However there very well could be multiple universes, multiple dimensions, with multiple Gods or no Gods or "partial Gods" or other things I can't even make up. There may not be such a thing as "truth" in a dimension that a God rules. Can we know this? Only if we can perform tests on it.


1. The laws of science are different, yes, however we cannot prove a supernatural being that is outside of our understanding of the laws of science by asserting this.
2. Correct. This neither proves or disproves god, it in fact opens the theory even wider, giving more possibilities inside and outside our reality.
3. "Logic" is a term used to describe occurrences in our reality. God is most likely not a part of our reality, and is therefore not a part of our logic (notice I didn't say illogical).
4. If God had any type of unnatural, supernatural, impossible effects on the natural world, our reality, we wouldn't understand it, and it would violate our laws of logic and we would basically have to start from scratch.
5. Supernatural claims can be scientifically investigated because they are scientifically sound, and can be tested according to our laws of science and logic, and therefore not supernatural.

MY summary

1. "I don't know" is not a religion. It is not truth. It is not asserting "yes" or "no," as those are the only two 100% truths, according to our reality, and to go outside of our reality is currently not known to be possible, therefore we cannot come to a definitive conclusion that God does or does not exist.
2. We currently do not know if our idea of logic applies to God. We cannot study, observe, test, or even really theorize if God does or does not exist, as it is untestable, and most likely always will be. We cannot come to a definitive conclusion that God does or does not exist, considering it is impossible to test something outside our laws of logic and science and reality.
3. We cannot prove we have absolute knowledge of how the universe(s) work(s). Our understanding of one small fundamental aspect of what may possible be an idea regarding God does not prove nor disprove his existence.
4. Absolute truth may not exist outside our understanding of this reality. God is outside of our reality. Therefore, once again, it is impossible to prove or disprove the absolute truth about God.



For us to know if God exists would imply that we have to literally know everything. We cannot do that. Our reality will not let us do that. For us to understand an infinite deity would mean we would have to be infinite ourselves. We would have to be everywhere at once. But we cannot do that. And if there are multiple universes, multiple dimensions, we can not know for sure what is in them as well as in our own.

It is impossible for us to prove or disprove God's existence, as well as consider a religion "true" or not.

Thanks for a good debate, you brought up much better points than I thought anyone really would.
Debate Round No. 4
43 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by james14 2 years ago
james14
OK, sure. Sorry. Thanks for input.
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Mister_Man
Thanks for the input WhiteFlame and everyone else, I appreciate it. I'd hope James14 appreciates it too, considering it's more than constructive feedback, but maybe he just enjoys debating his ideas with a passion.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Look, I'm not going to argue this with you, especially since your response to 1) was entirely new material that didn't appear within the debate. Whether I'm "wrong" or right in my decision, the reality is that your case was unclear in numerous areas and, at least to me, appeared to be making several large assumptions. Debate is, in large part, about making your case as solidly and clearly as you can, and I think you failed to do that here.
Posted by james14 2 years ago
james14
@whiteflame:

1) If there really were a God, it would highly probable that He would attempt to reveal himself to man, and that he would do so through miracles.
2) Humans can understand truth. almost every single debate on this site is about what is "true"!
3) God cannot be illogical, as He must be at least as logical as we to have created our rational systems of thinking. And despite what Con said, the law of noncontradiction would apply even on a "higher" plane of logic. God cannot be illogical.
4) I can't believe you're actually bringing this up. Religions are mutually exclusive. Only one can be correct, and if you argue that all religions are true then you are arguing a new religion that is different
from all the others.

I didn't admit that agnosticism might be right. I just showed where that belief would lead, namely to an absolute truth that denied absolute truth.

Vote what you like, but you're wrong.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
RFD:

From the start of this debate, I have a hard time getting a handle on Pro's case. He's essentially stating that there can be a true set of beliefs as to the presence or absence of a deity. While I'd take issue with the link between knowing a deity exists (not really a religion - more like establishing scientific fact) and having faith in a deity's existence, that's not really argued here. Instead, what I'm given by Pro is a case for why one religion must be true because someone must be right. At first glance, this seems entirely rational - at some point, we're going to find a concept of a religion that is accurate if we go through an infinite number of belief systems.

However, there are a lot of assumptions being made here:

1) That we will eventually cover said belief system in the span of human existence
2) That humans can understand "truth"
3) That humans are bounded by the same "logic" that said deity is
4) That any single religion is the sole correct one

Admittedly, Con isn't really giving me the first argument, though it seems at least to be a logical problem with Pro's case, who assumes we will simply stumble across it at some point. I'm not getting a clear case for the middle two, since it seems that deities can, even by Pro's estimation, transcend our knowledge of these concepts. I don't doubt that, within our understanding of truth and logic, we might come to some conclusions, but whether those conclusions actually suffice to show that it is the "true" religion is another story.

The last point is probably the most confused, and Pro dooms himself here. By admitting that agnosticism might be right, he's effectually conceding the debate, since agnosticism being a religion was not a part of his initial framework. I think Pro could easily have just argued that polytheistic religion that incorporates several others is another possible truth rather than going here, but that ends the debate. I vote Con.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
if religion was true it wouldn't be a religion, because you would know it was true, not not know and guess(believe) things
Posted by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
My thoughts on this are that gods are most often created by humanity to provide an answer for the unknown in our world. When we didn't understand volcanoes and the sun, there were gods for those. Now we understand them so there is no need to believe in volcano and sun gods. We still don't fully understand life and death though, so gods are still created to help people try and answer those difficult questions. There will always be questions that we don't have answers for, so I think rather than saying that there is a truth about gods, we should be saying that gods exist as a response to a lack of truth.

Now I'm sure the response from the theists here will believe that my theory is just wrong because their "God" is real and not just created to fill a void, but if people are willing to step back and look at the history of religions, it is a very clear pattern of trying to answer the unknown. The religions that fade are the ones that answer questions that we now know the answers to. I'm sure there was always that awkward period once we finally understood the answers but many of the faithful refused to accept those answers because they clung to their faith and chose to ignore the answers. That is, in my opinion, where we are getting to with some of the major religions today. Evolution is basically proven as fact at this point and that shows glaring holes in the creation stories that others believe as fact. Instead of accepting the evidence though, people just ignore it and keep trying to come up with ways to prove it wrong. Normally that is good... That is what science is all about, but unfortunately the 'proofs' that they provide do not hold any water, yet they cling to rubbish like 'macro evolution' has never been seen before, even though macro evolution is just micro evolution on a larger time scale. We can see small changes happening all the time, and if enough small changes happen, the result will have to be classified as a different species.
Posted by james14 2 years ago
james14
hey, Iven, do you believe your comment was true? Do you believe your arguments are "true" in our debate? If you don't you really should concede. The fact is, we all know the truth does exist. If physics can explain it, then too bad for physics. Maybe truth is a miracle! If you don't answer maybe I'll put this in my argument!
Posted by IvenMartin 2 years ago
IvenMartin
However, since I can comment I would like to leave my opinion. According to physics, the criteria for existence is that it is either composit (made up of smaller matter particles) or elementary, we also use the term fundamental (matter particles that is not composed of other particles of simpler nature). If it does not fall within those two categories, then physics says it does not exist. According to the English rules of grammar, I can say that it is true that truth does not exist without contradiction. To explain why, the word "true" being adjective describes something or a number of things. So, in my opinion, the argument is nonsensical, and I find it preposterous that this argument was presented.
Posted by IvenMartin 2 years ago
IvenMartin
I'm sorry, but according to the rules I am not allowed to vote due to my recent join and little activity so far.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
james14Mister_ManTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Saska 2 years ago
Saska
james14Mister_ManTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I would say that this was a fairly even debate, but I have to lean towards Con when it comes to arguments. Pro asserting that because we know truth exists, that there must be truth about God does not hold. As Con stated, truth does exist at times, but when it comes to matters of belief, truth is virtually impossible to find. For example, in my opinion, the Christian God is very clearly a farce, and I look at the evidence for evolution that proves it as reality (and Creation as the fairy tale that it is) but that does not mean I have truth about all possible gods. No matter how far science goes, disproving certain gods, there is always the possibility of another god that set all of the scientific processes into motion. Con did a better job (after his second round) arguing his point. I almost gave conduct points to Con as well, because of the rude/condescending attitude of Pro in round 3, but Pro was forgiving in round 4, so I left conduct at even.