The Instigator
riddick1128
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Thrasymachus
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

There is no God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/6/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,831 times Debate No: 18648
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (5)

 

riddick1128

Pro

This will be my first debate, so i figured i would start with something i can do very well. That is, refute the existance of a God. It can not be scientifically proven that a God exists. I define god here as an immortal, all knowing, all powerful being that is perfectly just and merciful, i.e. a christian god.
Thrasymachus

Con

Hello Riddick,

I'm new(ish) here too. I look forward seeing your refutation, given this is something you're very good at.

For fairness's sake, I'll assume the burden of proof to be shared here. So not only do I need to try and 'beat' your refutation, but I need to offer some good arguments for God's existence myself. For similar reasons I will not be offering an argument this round and accepting only, otherwise I get one more round than you.

Enjoy life,

Thrasymachus
Debate Round No. 1
riddick1128

Pro

To start my argument I would like to begin by saying that God is a self defeating construct that is full of paradoxes. First off, we have the concept of a perfect God creating anything. How can a flaw come from that which is perfect? By definition, there can be no flaws. Furthermore, if God exists, then who created God? And who created whoever created god? Who created them? Ad infinitum. If the claim is that God has always existed, then what did he do before he created everything, because by definition, he had an infinite time to do anything.
A second point I will make is a perfect god would never need to create anything, if he is truly perfect he would be an absolute self contained system that requires nothing else. If he were truly perfect, then he would also lack any emotions that are present in the bible, such as wrath and envy which are only manifestations of either incompleteness or insecurity.
A final point we have is Epicurus's argument: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
Thrasymachus

Con


Hello everyone


My thanks to riddick for setting up the debate. I do not have as much time as I would like to prepare my contributions, and I beg forgiveness in advance for the lack of appropriate citation and any poor(er) writing on my part.


In this round, I will firstly show that none of riddick's arguments are successful. I will then give arguments of my own for the existence of a "immortal, all knowing, all powerful being that is perfectly just and merciful".



Why Riddick's arguments fail


Pro argument 1 ("Perfect beings don't create")


Riddick asserts that "if he [god] is truly perfect he would be an absolute self contained system that requires nothing else". This, insofar as it goes, is correct: God is metaphysically necessary - and God doesn't need anything else to keep on truckin'. Riddick goes on to imply (but doesn't explictly state his reasoning) that a truly perfect being wouldn't create any sort of world. So the story offered in Christianity or general Theism of a perfect being creating the world is nonsense.


But riddick is surely wrong to say that perfect beings would not create. My life is far from perfect, but I definitely take it to have value - it is better for me not to exist than not to exist. I extend the same courtesy to the rest of mankind - it has been better that they have existed than they never existed. Yet all of these goods are contingent on there being a world in the first place. Because of this, a morally perfect being is obliged to create a world - it is a means to an end for valuable stuff like me and mankind, and moral perfect surely requires maximizing the good. So a perfect God must create (indeed, it probably must create an infinity of worlds, as why not create N+1 worlds instead of just N?)



Pro argument 2 ("Who created God")


Riddick says "if God exists, who created God?" The answer is simple: "no one!" For God, being a perfect being didn't need to be created. He was there from the start. Consequently there is no need for some infinite regress. So I don't really see the need to presume God was created. Besides, something must have been uncreated: one could run a parallel argument about the universe ("Who created the Universe? And who created him, ad infinitum..")


Riddick seems to think that the idea of God always existing cannot be, because "what did he do before he created everything, because by definition he'd have an infinite time to do everything". Even if God did spend an infinity of time bumming around before creating the universe, I don't see how that is problematic, or somehow renders God self-contradictory. More importantly, my understanding of modern cosmology is that there is no passage of time 'outside' of a universe. So there was no infinity of time before the creation of the universe (indeed, there was no time at all).



Pro argument 3 ("God shouldn't envy")


I'm not a theologian, so I'm not sure whether the best reading of the Bible says God really envies or hates or whatever other emotions we consider unbefitting of a perfect being. I don't think Riddick has provided an argument where wrath and envy are unsuitable emotions for a perfect being to have, or that these are the results of "either incompleteness of security".


But I'm going to grant all this, because I'm going to sidestep the argument. Christians (still less Theists) can be Christians yet take the bible to fallible. So even if it was the case that a) wrath and envy are inappropriate emotions for God and b) biblical texts x y z show God to be wrathful or envious, then Christians can simply hold that these texts x y z are mistaken, instead of holding that God does not exist. Even if we grant all of its (very controversial) premises, a christian can agree to them being rationally obliged to reject the existence of God.



Pro argument 4 ("The problem of Evil")


Riddick notes Epicurius's famous trilemma (he also remarks earlier about the flawed world). I take the first horn of the trilemma. God is willing, but not able, to prevent evil. Epicurius's assertion that this entails God is not omnipotent is wrong. For all we know people are transworld deprave, so that they would perform evil in any possible world, and so there is no way for God to form a world with people in such that they do not commit evil. God also cannot create unliftable stones or various other logical impossibilities, yet none of this makes him not-omnipotent.


One can defend God in a more general sense along these lines. That although there are lots of bad things in the world, they are needed to realise greater goods (or stave off even worse evils). God could be willing but unable to stop evil and yet remain omnipotent.



Interlude


So all of Riddicks arguments fail. A proper understanding of the divine attributes (plus attendant issues in metaphysics and stuff) means there is nothing self contradictory or absurd about the qualities imputed to God in Christianity. God can create stuff, can be uncreated, can create worlds with evil despite being omnipotent, and, even if he can't envy or be wrathful (granted for arguments sake), Christians can simply reject the relevant passages that suggest he does instead of rejecting God altogether.


I offered to share the burden of proof at the start. Much of philosophy of religion is devoted to arguments that do not demonstrate a God of all the relevant attributes: a prime mover or maximally great being can be morally neutral. I'm only going to offer a single argument that that confirms Theism (and Christianity) over Atheism.



Con argument 1 ("Fine tuning")


I take it for granted that all manner of cosmological parameters are 'fine tuned': if the gravitational force was stronger or weaker by a minute degree, the universe would have turned out in a way which would have meant intelligent life could have never arisen. If the cosmological constant had been different in 1 part in 10^100 or more, again, intelligent life could not have arisen (there would never have been heavy elements, no stars, etc. etc.) Given this is common knowledge to those who know stuff about cosmology, I do not intend to substantiate this point unless my opponent challenges me.


In one sense, it is very weird it 'just so happens' we the constants took the right values, and in another sense, not weird at all. In the 'other' sense, of course the various cosmological parameters need to be 'just so', for if they weren't, intelligent life would never be around to see them. But in the first sense it is weird the universes constants turned out this way - there is no 'law of nature' we know of which means they must have taken the values they did, and so worlds where they did turn out differently (and so life didn't happen) are surely possible (at least epistemically).


So on naturalism, the odds are about one-in-a-squillion all the values would turn out 'just right' to allow the development of intelligent life. In an uncaring cosmos, there is no reason to predict there would be a life permitting universe above estimating how much of the space of possible universes is life permitting. But on Theism, things are very different. Because a morally perfect God is able and willing (and obligated) to create a life-permitting universe (see my response to Pro argument 1), and so God would make sure that the universe did have values that were just right. So Theism does predict a life permitting universe, and so it makes a better fit for the facts than the Atheism model, and so provides reason to believe that God exists.


Bayesian gloss for the interested:


P(LPU|T&k') >> P(LPU|¬T&k')


(prime principle of confirmation)


--> [P(T|LPU)/P(¬T|LPU)] >> [P(T)/P(¬T)]



Conclusion


Riddick presented (although not explicitly) four arguments, where I only presented one. However, my argument is successful, whilst all of his are failures. So the balance of argument presented favours "There is a God" rather than "There is no God".


Debate Round No. 2
riddick1128

Pro

riddick1128 forfeited this round.
Thrasymachus

Con

I don't have anything further to add to my rebuttals of riddick's arguments. I also have nothing further to offer for the argument I have presented. Given Riddick forfeitingit seems this has been conceded. I am unwilling to dump more arguments in the last round. So I'll rest on what I have already written.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dsjpk5 2 months ago
dsjpk5
It's just be nice to be able to massage policies to make your position more convenient.
Posted by whiteflame 2 months ago
whiteflame
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Regarding a report on all votes:

[*Reason for non-removal*] This debate is well beyond the statute of limitations for vote moderation. We recognize that the voting period is still open, but as this debate ended over 4 years ago, it is regarded as being well beyond the SoL.
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Posted by popculturepooka 5 years ago
popculturepooka
"Refuting the existence of god is easy."

Enlighten us, please.
Posted by kkjnay 5 years ago
kkjnay
riddick1128, Refuting the existence of god is easy. However, people don't vote based on who they agree with, they vote for who has the better arguments. Right now Con is winning, step it up in the final round, good luck.
Posted by PatCam 5 years ago
PatCam
i am con for this now.
Posted by popculturepooka 5 years ago
popculturepooka
Interesting.
Posted by Thrasymachus 5 years ago
Thrasymachus
Apologies if the text turns out weird: the paste function is a bit temperamental on my computer.
Posted by XiaoFei98 5 years ago
XiaoFei98
It is scientifically proven God does exist. Do you believe that the complication of things in the world was simply by chance? The things in this world are so complex, there has to be someone to create it all. Thus, hinting God.
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
Both riddick and Thrasymachus appear to be suffering from the Dunning–Kruger effect, though from different directions.
Posted by Rach 5 years ago
Rach
Personally, I don't believe in 'God'. But, as some people say, we cannot prove he doesn't exist, but, can they prove he does? ...
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
riddick1128ThrasymachusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: *Sigh* Good debate both. Con wins via the forfeit.
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
riddick1128ThrasymachusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I was disappointed to have read through Con's argument only to find that Pro conceded. However, Con offered a very powerful argument for God's existence. Given Pro's opening argument and Con's rebuttal, I feel confident in assuming that Con would have won the debate anyway, had Pro offered a rebuttal. Conduct to Con for Pro's forfeiture, spelling and grammar to Con for better formatting.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
riddick1128ThrasymachusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct=FF Arguments: no need to explain Sources= con had them
Vote Placed by Mr.Infidel 4 years ago
Mr.Infidel
riddick1128ThrasymachusTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. No source point as con did not use any sources
Vote Placed by GaryBacon 5 years ago
GaryBacon
riddick1128ThrasymachusTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: It is obvious.