The Instigator
pazmusik
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
Daxitarian
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

There is no evidence, and no tenable arguements, for the existence of any gods.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,730 times Debate No: 2018
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (31)
Votes (11)

 

pazmusik

Pro

No evidence has been presented to humanity that either singularly or in combination conclusively proves the existence of any gods. Further, philosophical arguments for the existence of gods are untenable, and cannot result in a rational acceptance of the existence of any gods.

All tangible evidence for the existence of gods can be explained by natural means. All philosophical arguments for the existence of gods do not hold up under scrutiny and rational exploration of their tenents.

Thus, it requires not just a simple blind faith to believe in a god, but a faith that must systematically oppose the realities of human knowledge and understanding, as well as rational awareness. Ultimately, one must adopt a position of accepting the rationale, and admitting a faith in one's beliefs in spite of it.
Daxitarian

Con

First, I'll start by saying that I am an atheist.

My position is that belief in god/gods is not entirely unreasonable.

To start with, your opening round was just a long-winded version of saying, "there is no evidence for god because there is no evidence for god." So I'll at least show how it might be possible for a reasonable person to believe in some sort of deity.

For evidence, most people would argue for religious experience. Now you might say psychology, sociology, and anthropology do a better job of explaining these things than god. But you can't examine every case of religious experience, or jump into someone else's brain and experience their experience. So you can only make general assumptions.

Here is a thought experiment: Suppose we lived in a tropical environment. But I venture off to the rocky mountains and return with tales of a strange substance called snow. But you don't believe me since there is no way I can demonstrate it to you in our environment, so you have no reason to believe me. But snow does exist.

It's easy to see how this analogy can be applied to religious experience. It may not be evidence that can convince other people, but it does lead the person to reasonable believe there is a god, just as my voyage would reasonably lead me to believe there is snow.

You said: "Thus, it requires not just a simple blind faith to believe in a god, but a faith that must systematically oppose the realities of human knowledge and understanding, as well as rational awareness."

This is a stretch. Certainly some people take this approach to believing in god. But with almost every belief you can find some people who do the same thing.

Furthermore, you don't have any firsthand account of most of the things you believe either. Have you ever seen DNA for yourself, or electrons? What you do is no different than what theists do--you just have to take what opposing people tell you and find which ones do a better job for your making sense of reality from your vantage point. So the idea that theists are just lazy and don't want to look for evidence, while you are the only one out there examining the evidence is bunk. Also, doesn't it say in your profile that you believe in life on other planets? Evidence?

It could very well be that reality is too complex for us to understand and that the patter recognition software our brains are equipped with isn't up to task for the job, so people get different answers.

Here is one scenario of how some type of concept of god might exist: One theory for our consciousness is the idea that the proximity of our neurons firing off and communicating with one another is the cause of cognition. Likewise, it is easy to see how the proximity of life and it's communicating with itself could give rise to some sort of "meta-conscienceless" to the earth. This depends on your concept of god, but that isn't the issue here.

So, despite the fact that we see so many Pat Robertsons of the world, especially where I live--the buckle of the bible belt--it is easy to forget that there are some reasonable theists.

Also, if you are going to try to persuade people that belief in god is a bad idea, it is good to not take such a condescending tone. The reciprocation of tolerance will make it more likely that the other person will hear you out on your argument.
Debate Round No. 1
pazmusik

Pro

>>>>>To start with, your opening round was just a long-winded version of saying, "there is no evidence for god because there is no evidence for god."

I'm a little confused as to why this is important. I am presenting an argument. The argument is: "No evidence has been presented.... that conclusively proves the existence of gods." I expand the argument by stating that, because of the lack of evidence, faith in gods must oppose reason. How is my opening round insufficient? Should I be presenting examples of lack of evidence? How would I present an absence of something? If you want to argue against my first premise, present some evidence for the existence of gods. If you want to argue against my second premise, demonstrate how believing something with a lack of evidence is rational.

>>>>>For evidence, most people would argue for religious experience. Now you might say>>>>>

The point is moot. A person's argument from religious experience amounts to nothing more than hearsay testimony. As lone support of a claim for omniscient, omnipresent supernatural beings, it's utterly insignificant, despite its emotional and personal importance.

>>>>>>Here is a thought experiment: Suppose we lived in a tropical environment. But I venture off to the rocky mountains and return with tales of a strange substance called snow.....>>>>>>

Regardless of your subjective experience, you could only provide hearsay testimony of snow.

If we lived in a tropical environment, and neither of us had any knowledge that water could exist in any other form than liquid, and then you went to the Rockies and returned with stories about snow, then you would simply be making a claim. Were I to accept it, it would be solely from hearsay testimony, which is insufficient as evidence. I would have to have faith.

But let's further this analogy. Let's say you come back from the Rockies and you tell me not only that you've witnessed a new phenomenon called snow, but that you played around with it a bit and learned that when you warmed it up it became water.. hence, snow was not an unknown mystical thing... it was simply water undergoing a physical change. In a constantly tropical environment with few tools, we probably would not be able to recreate that. However, we'd be in an environment brimming with examples of other physical and chemical changes. Building a fire would be a perfect example. Boiling water over that fire and turning it to steam would be an even better one. Your claim of snow, supplemented by concrete evidence that elements CAN and DO undergo physical changes, now becomes much stronger and can be accepted with more reason than if you simply arrived from the Rockies and said "There is a thing called snow. Believe it."

But your analogy is weak in that it does not correspond to realistic issues with belief. Whether snow exists or not would have no effect on our lives on the island. That is not synonymous with humanity's religious history.

>>>>>>This is a stretch. Certainly some people take this approach to believing in god. But with almost every belief you can find some people who do the same thing. >>>

You have not presented any arguments opposing my point. If you are suggesting that we sometimes employ blind faith with other things besides belief in gods, I agree with you. But how does that oppose my argument, that we employ blind faith to believe in gods?

>>>>>>Furthermore, you don't have any firsthand account of most of the things you believe either >>>>>>

Interestingly, I cannot find anywhere in my original argument where I suggested that faith is lazy or that theists don't want to look for evidence. I didn't even imply it. Please stick with my original argument.

Nor did I claim that firsthand accounts are the only forms of sound evidence. It seems like you are crafting these ideas to pigeonhole my argument into a more narrow form, so you can then attack that narrow argument. That's simply a straw-man fallacy. Please refer to my original text; it's easy to become a bit liberal with paraphrasing.

I have not only seen DNA and electrons, but I know HOW we are able to see DNA and electrons. I have learned and understood how restriction enzymes work, how they discern adenosine, thymine, guanosine, and cytosine. I once wondered how humanity can see DNA, so I studied gel electrophoresis. Regardless of the fact that I don't own tools in my house that can carry out electrophoresis, I could acquire them and conduct my own research and see DNA. In other words, I am not being asked by scientists to have "faith" in what they see. I can do my own research. I can use my knowledge of biochemistry to predict specific outcomes were I to conduct the same experiment. What experiments can we conduct, and predict outcomes with precise accuracy, about the existence of any gods?

Data from experiments and research is not a subjective vantage point. Scientific evidence is not valid because one, or two, or twenty scientists SAY it is. It is only valid if the results from, say, twenty similar experiments of twenty separate scientists all coincide and correlate within a narrow margin. Then, it no longer matters what the scientists say; indeed, some could picket and rally against it. It would make no difference. The evidence supports the facts, not the opinions of scientists, or my opinion of their opinions.

>>>>>>>Also, doesn't it say in your profile that you believe in life on other planets? Evidence?

Why would I supply evidence for my belief about life on other planets? I never once claimed there IS any evidence of that. That is precisely why it remains a "belief" of mine, and nothing more.

I never omitted myself from my original argument. I did not say "one must adopt a position of accepting the rationale, and admitting a faith in one's beliefs in spite of it......except for me!" Until concrete evidence for life on other planets is presented, I can ONLY have faith in it. You have helped to strengthen my original argument.

>>>>>>>So, despite the fact that we see so many Pat Robertsons of the world, especially where I live--the buckle of the bible belt--it is easy to forget that there are some reasonable theists.

I think the point you're trying make here is that I have a stigmatized view of the majority of theists because of how I have perceived a minority of more outspoken and radical theists.

The problem is that, when you speak to a "reasonable" theist (however we may define such a person), and present evidence which opposes his faith, he may be more reasonable in accepting that such evidence is valid, unlike the Pat Robertsons of the world. But ultimately, his belief in the existence of a god must still rely on faith in spite of his reason and in spite of evidence. Else what is a "reasonable" theist anyway? Someone who accepts that SOME of his evidence for a god is not valid, but has faith in a god anyway? How is that different from what I argue?

Also, nowhere in my argument does it say that I think belief in god is a bad idea. My only claim with respect to humanity is that, ultimately, faith in the existence of gods will necessitate opposition to reason. I reread my opening remarks and I don't find anything near a condescending tone; however, I'm aware that tone is a subjective thing, and if you felt you were being condescended to you, it was not my intention.

Well, Daxitarian, it seems from your first reply that you've avoided addressing my first point, and focused on the second. I can only conclude that you are conceding the first point: that no evidence has been presented for the existence of gods. I'm eager, then, to continue debating with you on the issues of faith and its relation to reason. This issue is a sophisticated one and an important one, and its role in the human condition was a compelling reason for my including it in my original argument. I look forward to your reply.
Daxitarian

Con

Pazmusik: "To start with, your opening round was just a long-winded version of saying, "there is no evidence for god because there is no evidence for god." I'm a little confused as to why this is important."

Reply: Because when you are debating, you need to make your points as simple and to the point as possible. Plus, it saves time.

Pazmusik: The argument is: "No evidence has been presented.... that conclusively proves the existence of gods."

Reply: No evidence conclusively proves anything. Rather we have ideas with hierarchies of evidence. We could be 99.9% sure that evolution happened and that a world wide flood didn't happen 6,000 years ago. But we don't prove anything 100%. That's why in a court of law, you only have to prove innocence beyond a reasonable doubt, not all doubts. So to apply this standard to god and not everything else is unfair.

Pazmusik: "If you want to argue against my first premise, present some evidence for the existence of gods. If you want to argue against my second premise, demonstrate how believing something with a lack of evidence is rational."

Reply: The first one I'll get to in a little bit. For the second one, it is not an issue about how believing something with lack of evidence is rational (more on this later), it's that sometimes you can be rational and still get the wrong answer. Rationality does not equal infallibility. Suppose you are at the airport. You are eager, yet running a little behind, to get to your vacation in Great Britain. You see the terminal that says "London" and rush on board. However, you find out mid flight that you boarded the plane going to London, Canada and not London, England. You arrived at the wrong conclusion for a rational reason. But rationality is self-correcting over time. We can always improve on what we know, which is why the spirit of learning is a lasting frontier.

Pazmusik: The point is moot. A person's argument from religious experience amounts to nothing more than hearsay testimony. As lone support of a claim for omniscient, omnipresent supernatural beings, it's utterly insignificant, despite its emotional and personal importance.

Reply: To you it is moot, but to the person it's not. And if it is at least possible that we atheists are wrong, then it is possible that the person's experience might be right and hence a rational reason for believing.

Pazmusik: If we lived in a tropical environment, and neither of us had any knowledge that water could exist in any other form than liquid, and then you went to the Rockies and returned with stories about snow, then you would simply be making a claim. Were I to accept it, it would be solely from hearsay testimony, which is insufficient as evidence. I would have to have faith.

Reply: Yes, you would be taking it based on faith, but I wouldn't. So likewise, it is at least possible that the person that has the spiritual experience to have evidence, but not any kind that can be of use to anyone but himself.

Pazmusik: "But let's further this analogy. Let's say you come back from the Rockies and you tell me not only that you've witnessed a new phenomenon called snow, but that you played around with it a bit and learned that when you warmed it up it became water.. hence, snow was not an unknown mystical thing... "

Reply: No, but the property of it freezing would be a mystical thing. Even if I knew that ice was frozen water it doesn't change anything with the analogy.

Pazmusik: However, we'd be in an environment brimming with examples of other physical and chemical changes.

Reply: But none of that demonstrate freezing. Again, that doesn't change the analogy in any significant way.

Pazmusik: Your claim of snow, supplemented by concrete evidence that elements CAN and DO undergo physical changes, now becomes much stronger and can be accepted with more reason than if you simply arrived from the Rockies and said "There is a thing called snow. Believe it."

Reply: Again, showing that things change doesn't do anything to show how water freezes. But suppose it wasn't just me who experienced ice, but rather a large fraction of people from the village we lived in. Furthermore, assume that we don't live in a day and age where refrigerators have been invented. Wouldn't all of our similar testimonies be at least some type of minimal evidence for the existence of ice? So wouldn't it then be rational to believe in ice?

Pazmusik: You have not presented any arguments opposing my point. If you are suggesting that we sometimes employ blind faith with other things besides belief in gods, I agree with you. But how does that oppose my argument, that we employ blind faith to believe in gods?

Reply: You are not addressing my point in that not everyone "blindly" believes in god and it may be possible that their reasons are right. Aquinas, Desecrate, and others didn't believe in god because of blind faith, but because they put together arguments for it. Intelligent design would have been the most rational explanation before evolution came along and shattered it.

Pazmusik: Interestingly, I cannot find anywhere in my original argument where I suggested that faith is lazy or that theists don't want to look for evidence.

Reply: I can. (from round 1) "it requires not just a simple blind faith to believe in a god, but a faith that must systematically oppose the realities of human knowledge and understanding, as well as rational awareness."

The key words here being "blind" and "systemtically oppose the realities of human knowledge." Blind, as in not wanting to see, and "systemtically oppose the realities of human knowledge," as in you have to close our eyes and shout lalalalalal with your fingers in your ears to believe in god. You said to believe in god, you must employ a system of opposing reality. That means not wanting to look for evidence against your beliefs. Now you could have gotten carried away and forgotten what you were typing actually meant. But there it is.

Pazmusik: That's simply a straw-man fallacy. Please refer to my original text;

Reply: One-step ahead of ya.

Pazmusik: I have not only seen DNA and electrons, but I know HOW we are able to see DNA and electrons. I have learned and understood how restriction enzymes work, how they discern adenosine, thymine, guanosine, and cytosine. I once wondered how humanity can see DNA, so I studied gel electrophoresis.

Reply: First, unless you are a professional scientist, I don't think you really have. But the point about DNA doesn't really matter, because I could just refer to any other phenomenon. Have you ever seen photosynthesis? But let's pretend you were a scientist and you told me how all these things were. You are doing the same thing that I would be doing in the ice thought experiment: telling me how things are based on your experience. But you are at an advantage in that what you are describing can be replicated. It is at least possible that what the person with the religious experience is describing is beyond our capacity to document and that are brains did not evolve to grasp that complexity. Hence, they would be rational in believing in god. And the fact that so many similar cases appear, it at least means that there is something to be explained.

Before I run out of room: You say it is okay to believe in aliens without evidence, but god is not off the hook? Science is not subjective, but it is not infallible, but has nothing to do with god. Religious experience isn't something that can be scientifically tested. Science may test other things that can give an account of it, but you can't examine all the cases yourself. I'll expand on this in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
pazmusik

Pro

>>>>You say it is okay to believe in aliens without evidence…

Not my point. I illustrated that my believing in aliens requires faith. I am not arguing about whether it's "okay" or not to believe in anything, gods or otherwise.

>>>>Science is not subjective(etc)…

I said clearly that DATA and EVIDENCE was not subjective.

>>>>>No evidence conclusively proves anything(etc)

I could just as easily have written "no evidence has been presented that reasonably proves..." and you could have asked what a reasonable proof is. Then we descend into philosophical solipsism, and how we can truly "know" anything. That's a fine philosophical debate to have, but it's not this debate.

>>>>That's why in a court of law(etc)…

Very well. To apply this standard fairly to gods, please provide what proofs have been presented for the existence of gods that are beyond a reasonable doubt, and make sure to also define "beyond a reasonable doubt."

>>>>> Suppose you are at the airport…

Upon realizing my error, I would have reflected that there was more information to be had: 1) other destinations called "London", 2) the reality that two gates having destinations with the same name is possible, 3) boarding your departing flight based on both gate number AND destination can assure fewer blunders like this. You're right. Rationality is self-correcting, so long as there is further knowledge available that you actively ignored. What known evidence is there of gods that we actively ignore?

>>>>>>if it is at least possible that we atheists are wrong, then it is possible that the person's experience might be right and hence a rational reason for believing.

No, this is a false dichotomy. There are many other possibilities. It's possible that a god created the universe and then ceased to exist and is no longer here. It's possible there is more than one god, and they're feuding, and knowing which is the right one is crucial to your eternal happiness. Possibilities work in the context of "reasonable doubt" when you're in a courtroom for a murder trial because it has been DEMONSTRATED that a particular scenario COULD have occurred. When has it ever been demonstrated that gods exist, at all, in the first place?

If we can be 99.9% sure of a thing, it does not follow that the remaining .01% uncertainty makes it reasonable for someone to claim the opposite.

>>>>But none of that demonstrate freezing.

There would be other things on the island that would be solid at room temperature, but upon heating them, we would witness them melting. Then, after cooling, we would witness them solidifying again. Further examination of this phenomenon at the molecular level would give us a pretty good understanding of what's happening.

What we COULD do with water in a tropical environment is look at how water molecules behave as they heat up. By heating the water and establishing that water molecules move faster and further away from one another at higher temperatures, and EXPERIENCING how the molecules slow down and bind closer together as they cool down, we can infer quite strongly that water molecules must move slower and slower, and closer and closer as the temperature drops until they cannot get any closer! This discovery can WELL explain the properties of this "snow" or "ice" that you witnessed, especially since we'd have evidence of other liquids solidifying as their temperature drops. And even if it was not a complete explanation, it still surpasses a supernatural explanation for this reason: because we have evidence of a natural phenomenon that can slow molecules, but we have NO evidence of ANY supernatural forces acting on anything in our world, EVER. Period.

>>>>>>>But suppose it wasn't just me who experienced ice...

The reply to this argument is built into your statement. You have presented a rational pathway to knowledge. If a large fraction of people have traveled to the ice, then it is clear that this "ice" is accessible, and there is another pathway to knowing it outside of faith. One could simply travel to see it! As long as THAT was a reality, there is an additional pathway to knowledge that one would be refusing by simply accepting the existence of ice on faith.

So... what about people today, who have never actually seen snow? (I know a few people who haven't.) They don't have to have faith that snow exists. They can see photos, video and other media records of it. They can learn of its properties and understand how it forms and why it MUST exist in certain environments. They can even test those studies at home and create their own snow. In short, instead of faith, they can TRUST the preponderance of evidence.

This is the fundamental difference between "faith" and "frust". The difference is not in how a person believes in something. The difference is: what is present that supports that claim? If there is a large amount that supports it, and little or nothing to oppose it, then even without experiencing the phenomenon you TRUST the evidence of its existence. If there is little to NO evidence that supports it, or indeed evidence to the contrary, then you must have faith.

>>>>Wouldn't all of our similar testimonies be at least some type of minimal evidence…

No, because any number of hearsay testimonies are insufficient to prove extraordinary claims. An appeal to majority, or appeal to popularity, not only is not evidence of the claim but also further demonstrates the irrationality behind it. A cursory look at our NUMEROUS religions, the millions of people behind each, and their unwavering conviction that theirs is the true religion, is sufficient to display this fallacy.

>>>>>>You are not addressing my point in that not everyone "blindly" believes in god…

I never argued that all theists ONLY blindly believe in gods. I argued that they must also consider other explanations and reject them.

>>>>>Intelligent design would have been the most rational explanation before evolution came along and shattered it.

My argument refers to the current time, not the past.

>>>>>You said to believe in god, you must employ a system of opposing reality. That means not wanting to look for evidence against your beliefs.

Not so. In my original argument I never said one employs a system. I said that people systematically oppose rational explanations. (i even said one must ACCEPT that the rationale exists first.) To oppose an explanation, one must research it first, in order to oppose it. This is a proactive stance... it requires effort, and is decidedly not lazy.

>>>>Hence, they would be rational in believing in god. And the fact that so many similar cases appear, it at least means that there is something to be explained.

Once again, as evidence for supernatural beings that we have yet to show exist, appeals to popularity are useless.

To this day, human history has never witnessed any supernatural event. Where is the rationality in creating a supernatural explanation for an unknown, when there has never been any evidence of the supernatural? If I cannot explain something, how is it at all rational to create a supernatural explanation, one that would demand its OWN explanation? If one has a personal, subjective experience, and explains it with a god, how then does he explain that god? Another god? To what infinite regress will he provide supernatural explanations that, by their own definition, cannot be explained?

What evidence has been presented for the existence of gods? What rational arguments can be made for the existence of gods? What evidence for gods is better than, or opposes, our current natural explanations for phenomenon? What tests can we conduct to show the existence of gods and what predictions can we make for the outcomes? What can we infer from the reality that there are millions upon millions of varying religious experiences that do not accord with one another? And lastly, how do you define a "reasonable" theist?
Daxitarian

Con

We are starting to argue in circles, so here is my summary.

You want evidence and a tenable argument for the existence of God. The evidence for the believer is usually some sort of religious experience. But you discount them simply by saying, "To this day, human history has never witnessed any supernatural event." This point is just begging the question. We have never seen any supernatural events because we have never seen any supernatural events. You haven't seen or evaluated every putative supernatural event. As long as I can't jump into someone else's brain and experience what they are experiencing, I can't refute their belief, and therefore there argument is tenable. That doesn't provide evidence for me to believe, but it does provide them with a rational reason to believe. But as my point with the plane shows, rationality doesn't guarantee truth. And the debate isn't whether god exists or not, just if one can make a tenable case for it.

What you seem to be asking for is SCIENTIFIC evidence for the existence of god. But that is the whole point of the supernatural--it is outside of natural means of operation. But we never specified that scientific evidence was the only evidence in play.

Pazmusik: "No, this is a false dichotomy. There are many other possibilities. It's possible that a god created the universe and then ceased to exist and is no longer here. It's possible there is more than one god, and they're feuding, and knowing which is the right one is crucial to your eternal happiness. Possibilities work in the context of "reasonable doubt" when you're in a courtroom for a murder trial because it has been DEMONSTRATED that a particular scenario COULD have occurred. When has it ever been demonstrated that gods exist, at all, in the first place?"

Reply: I don't see how this is a dichotomy since I never specified which possibility could be right. I am not arguing that any specific religion is right, just that it is possible that they could be imperfectly reflecting reality.

Your last two sentences don't go together. You say in court that you have to demonstrate that a scenario could have happened. Then you say what has been demonstrated that god does exist. That is like saying in court, what has been demonstrated that the murder did take place. You switched out "could have" for "certainly did." In round one I laid out how some concept of god might exist.

"This is the fundamental difference between "faith" and "trust". The difference is not in how a person believes in something. The difference is: what is present that supports that claim? If there is a large amount that supports it, and little or nothing to oppose it, then even without experiencing the phenomenon you TRUST the evidence of its existence. If there is little to NO evidence that supports it, or indeed evidence to the contrary, then you must have faith."

You haven't provided any inconsistencies of god and what we know about the world. It is certainly reasonable that god could exist and that we haven't discovered him yet, or that only certain people have. You might say that psychology explains what happens when people say they "discovered" god. You might be right. But the believer would disagree. You may say your opinion of what happened fits a scientific theory, but that doesn't mean it is right, and the believer would disagree with you. You could be offering a "just so" theory. An analogy of this often comes up in evolutionary psychology. e.g. Teenage boys wear ball caps backwards because they are trying to establish themselves as the alpha male and show that they are above the rules that restrain their sexual competitors. Also, wearing a hat backwards exposes the face to the elements, showing that cap wearing would produce offspring likely to survive.

The explanation fits what we know about evolution, but you can't replicate why a person wears a ball cap backwards. Instead you are just take what you know--evolution--and assume it can be used to explain everything. But sometimes what we know may fit and still be wrong. Maybe the boy is wearing the hat backwards for conformity reasons, or to be funny. Our theories of why people have religious experiences may fit another theory, but that doesn't disprove them.

Pazmusik: "but we have NO evidence of ANY supernatural forces acting on anything in our world, EVER. Period."

Reply: YOU don't have any evidence, but people who claim to have religious experiences disagree. Just because it can't be reproduced doesn't mean it doesn't count for that person as evidence. I went to bed around 12:30 last night. My evidence is my experience. But we can't replicate that. Likewise, you can't replicate what people are experiencing in regard to religion or god.

Pazmusik: "No, because any number of hearsay testimonies are insufficient to prove extraordinary claims."

Reply: Opinion doesn't make truth, but it does provide evidence. If you are on trial for murder and three witnesses say they saw you do it, there is a good chance you will go to jail.

Pazmusik: An appeal to majority, or appeal to popularity, not only is not evidence of the claim but also further demonstrates the irrationality behind it. A cursory look at our NUMEROUS religions, the millions of people behind each, and their unwavering conviction that theirs is the true religion, is sufficient to display this fallacy."

Reply: This argument might stand if we were arguing for one particular religion being true over the others, but the fact that there are numerous religions doesn't discount religion in general. It could be the case that religion is taping into some part of reality that is beyond our ability to grasp, so it is imperfectly reflected through different religious sects.

Pazmusik: If I cannot explain something, how is it at all rational to create a supernatural explanation, one that would demand its OWN explanation?

Reply: The simplest answer is not always the best answer. Theists can make this mistake as well. For example, William F. Buckley gives for believing in god, "I find it easier to believe in god than believing that Hamlet was deduced from the molecular structure of a mutton chop." But just because it is easier to see how creativity can be explained by god doesn't mean that it is the best answer. Likewise, it would be easier to assume the universe has just existed, and that you don't need god to be the "first" cause, but that doesn't make it the best answer.

For the ice thought experiment, you are missing the point. The point isn't if you can prove ice exists, but rather that you could be justified in not believing in ice, while I would be justified for believing in ice based on my own personal evidence, and I would be right.

Your argument just boils down to, "Miracles don't exist, because miracles don't happen." If I told you I had an experience with god, your response would be, "No, you didn't, because god doesn't exist." I would then say, "How do you know that." You would say, "How do you know that he does," I would respond, "because I have experienced him," You would say, "I want more evidence" I would say, "other people experience a similar thing," You would say, "well, they are just delusional," I would ask, "How do you know that," and you would say, "because god doesn't exist." You couldn't refute my argument or discredit my evidence, hence your original statement of there is no evidence, and no enable arguments, for the existence of god. If you could somehow show that god is incompatible with something we do know, then you might be on to something.
Debate Round No. 3
pazmusik

Pro

Dax... my point about never having witnessed any supernatural events is not begging the question, because it is not me who is making the claim. If someone approaches me and tells me they had a personal experience of a god, I would count that as miraculous. And upon my mentioning to him that we have no evidence of any miracles ever occurring, his reply of "Well, you're just begging the question. I know it exists, because I experienced it," would not be tenable.

On the contrary, a lone personal experience of a miracle IS circular .

"I know a god exists, because I experienced it."

Well how do you know that what you experienced was real? "Because gods exist!"

But how do you know that? "Because I experienced one."

It hasn't yet been established that gods exist at all, and a claim that one has experienced one is miraculous and demands far greater preponderance of evidence (and from far greater sources) than casual, everyday items. You don't need to refute someone's beliefs in purple unicorns to accept that they don't exist, do you?

If you claim that you ate a snickers bar yesterday, and no one saw you eat it, but you experienced it so it must be true, I have no problem accepting that. Even if you are lying, the fact remains that the you, your mouth, and a snickers bar are all objects that have been verified to exist. The event of a person eating a snickers bar is an event that has occurred with relative frequency countless times and can be documented.

And if that weren't enough, we can repeat the test and FALSIFY it. We can etablish that you will eat another snickers bar within two hours, and then sit with you or follow you wherever you go, and witness you either eating another one or not eating one.

In other words, we have good REASON to believe you can eat a snickers bar. But what reason do we have for believing that your miraculous experience of something that has never been documented is true? And how could we falsify it, if it's true that we can't jump into someone else's brain and experiene their experience?

The personal experience of a god has the unfortunate characteristic of a) being an event so miraculous that it demands far greater and more compelling evidence than the event of eating a snickers bar, and b) being an event that we cannot document, test, or falsify, thus we can't even establish that it ever occurs. This is why the personal testimony of miracles is insufficient, and this is why it's unreasonable to accept it as evidence, EVEN if you're the person who experienced it. It does not take a great intellect to understand that, even with your experience, you lack satisfactory proof.

If you have a personal experience of a god, it IS reasonable to accept that you HAD the experience. But you do not have EVIDENCE of the experience.

>>>>>>If you could somehow show that god is incompatible with something we do know, then you might be on to something.

Herein lies a great flaw. Because the standard definition of a god is an all-powerful, omniscient being, such a being could do anything. Thus, there could be NO possible incompatibilities with this god and anything, at all, inside or outside the known universe. I.E. This god cannot be falsified, thus it cannot ever be proven. You could present this god's will to do whatever it wished as evidence for ANY experience you had, period. You could present God's will as evidence for anything, at all, ever. There is no limitation, and there is no boundary by which we can decide whether it is verifiable or not.

Does any of this remove the personal experience that one may have of a god? No. But it completely dismantles it as any evidence that the person can use to establish that god's existence. It can only be a personal experience. It can never be evidence by itself.

Consider: You come to me and say "I had a personal experience of the god "Frith". He showed himself to me and told me that I am destined for eternal happiness."

To which I reply: "Well, I have news for you. The god "Colmdof" spoke to me last week, and told me that He would implant a fake experience in your head involving a nonexisting god, named "Frith". He said he wanted to trick you and make you believe something that wasn't true. Looks like it worked."

What on EARTH would make you think that my believing what happened to me was a "reasonable" belief? How on earth could you prove me wrong? How could you say that my experience was false and yours was true?

What criteria would you use to decide whether my belief in my experience is reasonable? Because in light of our opposing accounts, neither of us could reasonably accept the other, and neither of us could reasonably discount the other.

This is only to illuminate my prior point: that ANYTHING can be explained away by omnipotent beings. This does not translate to reasonable acceptance of any experience. It is merely a philosophical cop-out.

Incidentally, I have never claimed that gods don't exist. I claim, correctly, that no evidence has ever been presented for the existence of gods. I have no circular arguments. I am not arguing for the existence of any experience, for any supernatural beings, or for any reasons for belief in supernatural beings. So contrary to your example, I would never say "Because god doesn't exist." I am agnostic with respect to the existence of gods. I would say that it hasn't yet been established that gods exists at all, so we cannot operate from an a priori assumption that they do exist, and the judge our experiences based on that. The burden of proof lies on the claimant.

Re: your last ice example: You are incorrect. I would NOT be justified in not believing in ice, because you have demonstrated that there is an avenue towards greater knowledge and direct experience of ice: i.e. traveling to see it, which in your example many people from our village have done. As long as I know that that option is available, and I do not take it, I am not justified in simply saying that ice doesn't exist. (which, as you can see, I am not doing with gods, for I have never claimed that gods don't exist.) If I understand that there is more knowledge to be had about ice, but i, for whatever reason, cannot travel to see it, then I can resign to a very rational stance regarding the existence of ice: "I don't know." That's exactly the stance that science has with respect to everything we have yet to explain. It's a good stance; a healthy one. It leads to a greater effort to learn more about the unknown. But again, saying "I don't know" about ice does not make it "reasonable" for me to go ahead and believe in it.

You did not really answer my question about supplanting a supernatural explanation for something that has no explanation. Your quote from William F. Buckley illustrates this well. What explanation would he give, then, for how this omnipotent being came into existence? And how would it be any more satisfactory than the explanation of gods was over the "molecular structure of a mutton chop" at that time? Buckley knew that an omnipotent being could not be explained nor could it be falsified. Thus, it was a good cop-out, because it stagnates all discussion on the matter. Any rational person can see that that does not translate to good 'reasons' for believing in the existence of gods.

My point about the appeal to majority was not to discount religion in general, so your reply is misdirected. I was responding to your statement: "Wouldn't all of our similar testimonies be at least some type of minimal evidence…" No, they would not.

I side with David Hume's sentiment:
"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish."

Do you have answers to the questions I presented at the end of the last round?
Daxitarian

Con

"On the contrary, a lone personal experience of a miracle IS circular ."

Then by your logic, everything we have learned from experience is circular, hence knowledge, science and everything is thrown out the window. With regard to the ice thought experiment, would my belief in ice be circular? I wouldn't have any way of persuading you, but my own personal belief would be justified based on my experience.

"It hasn't yet been established that gods exist at all...You don't need to refute someone's beliefs in purple unicorns to accept that they don't exist, do you?"

It hasn't been established SCIENTIFICALLY or by YOUR own experiences. But that doesn't refute a person's own experience. You committing the fallacy of arguing from ignorance: "Atheism is true because no one can prove god exists."

"And if that weren't enough, we can repeat the test and FALSIFY it. We can etablish that you will eat another snickers bar within two hours, and then sit with you or follow you wherever you go, and witness you either eating another one or not eating one."

But this test says nothing about my experiences yesterday, which is what we are trying to investigate.

"But what reason do we have for believing that your miraculous experience of something that has never been documented is true?"

It has never been documented in YOUR experience. But that doesn't discount the believer.

"And how could we falsify it, if it's true that we can't jump into someone else's brain and experiene their experience?"

You can't falsify it, just like if we lived in a certain day and age, you couldn't falsify my experience with ice. But that doesn't mean ice doesn't exist. You can only weigh my experience claims against those of others and yours and decide which makes the most sense.

"Thus, there could be NO possible incompatibilities with this god and anything, at all,"

There are internal incompatibilities, i.e. All powerful, that could discount god. But not all views of god need to be all powerful, or all knowing, or omniscient.

"I.E. This god cannot be falsified, thus it cannot ever be proven."

With the ice example, ice couldn't be falsified to you, but my own personal experience does provide me with evidence to believe that as of now is beyond your capacity to refute. If your statement, there is no evidence, or tenable arguments for the existence of god, were true, then you must be able to have some way to refute these experiences, which you have already said you could not. But by that same token, the evidence is not the kind that is able to persuade you, since you did not have the experience.

"It can never be evidence by itself."

It is evidence for the person with the experience and for that person only. What exactly he encountered is for him to sort out, but you can not refute it outright from your vantage point, only make inferences from what you have experienced and know.

"Frith" v. "Colmdof"

Just because our experiences are different doesn't do anything to discount god. It could be possible that we only have a partial understanding of what we encountered. Take light for example. It is described as both a wave and a particle. This seems like it can't be true. But it is and, according to physicists, we can write down formulas that are consistent with both. They seem inconsistent, but they both reflect a partial understanding of reality that we can't intuit. The differences in religion can only be used against taking each religion literally and exclusively, which is not what we are talking about here. Our brains didn't evolve for understanding all of reality, but to be used by our genetic puppet masters to pass on our genes, so it shouldn't be a surprise when we don't understand something, including the divine. We can only take what we know and our personal experiences and weigh them against other people's claims and sort out the probabilities of each one being right.

"This does not translate to reasonable acceptance of any experience."

Unless you have the experience.

"I claim, correctly, that no evidence has ever been presented for the existence of gods."

No evidence from YOUR experience has been presented for the existence of gods.

"I would say that it hasn't yet been established that gods exists at all,"

It hasn't been established in YOUR experience, just as with the ice thought experiment, it hasn't been established by your experience, but I would still have reasonable evidence to believe that ice exists.

"The burden of proof lies on the claimant."

You are the claimant here. I am the one taking the con position. By saying there is no evidence or tenable arguments that god exists, you are saying you can refute any reason for believing in god. I challenge that notion with people's claims of religious experience and you can't jump into someone's brain and refute that. You can only take what you have experienced and weigh the probabilities.

"I would NOT be justified in not believing in ice, because you have demonstrated that there is an avenue towards greater knowledge and direct experience of ice: i.e. traveling to see it,"

No, you would still be wrong for the right reasons. It doesn't matter about the avenue, since it could just be said that we don't have access to it. Suppose that we lived on an island and had no knowledge about shipbuilding, but some Europeans came to our island and took me there and never came back. The way I got there is out of our current means.

"I do not take it, I am not justified in simply saying that ice doesn't exist."

As said previously, it isn't that there isn't a means, just that you can't take it right now.

"It's a good stance; a healthy one. It leads to a greater effort to learn more about the unknown. But again, saying "I don't know" about ice does not make it "reasonable" for me to go ahead and believe in it."

But it would be reasonable for me to believe in ice if I experienced it. Hence I would have evidence from my experience and a tenable argument you couldn't outright refute.

"But it would be reasonable for me to say there is ice, even if I don't know the exact details of it.
What explanation would he give, then, for how this omnipotent being came into existence?"

You wouldn't know the same details about ice. If you experienced it, you could only say that exists and nothing else.

"Wouldn't all of our similar testimonies be at least some type of minimal evidence…" No, they would not."

Yes, eye witness testimony is evidence. If you go into a court of law and ten people give consistent stories that you committed a crime, then you are going to jail. Almost everything you believe from science is eye witness testimony, since you don't carry out the experiments yourself. What majorities can't do is manipulate what reality is. If everyone decided to vote that 2 + 2 = 5, it wouldn't change anything. It doesn't prove anything, just aids in the process of investigation.
Debate Round No. 4
pazmusik

Pro

Daxitarian, I want to thank you for engaging in this gratifying debate. Through our discourse, I've learned to consider more thoroughly the aspects of faith and personal experience. I hope that this debate has been as fulfilling for you.

Let me address your final points and summarize.

>>>>>Yes, eye witness testimony is evidence.

Remember that even with corroborated testimony, there are two other factors at work here: 1) that the opposition fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the testimony couldn't have happened, and 2) that what the testimonies claim are REAL, PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE, REPEATABLE occurrences that have been known to exist and occur and do not require further explanation. Again, when ten people tell me that they saw you eat a snickers bar yesterday, it's reasonable to believe them. But when ten people tell me they saw you fly on the back of a unicorn yesterday, then BEFORE I can even consider whether their testimony is truly corroborative, I first need explanations on the existence of flying unicorns. Their testimony to that effect is meaningless; such a claim requires far more than the testimony of even millions of people. At the very least, an explanation of how one can test for the existence of such creatures should be presented.

(Don't forget that when Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth and thus bolstered the theory that the earth was ROUND, in c. 200 BC, he didn't just CLAIM that the earth was that much around, he provided the method by which he arrived at his conclusions. Any attempt, then, to use round-earthers of the past as an example of how many people who believed in something correct could be called crazy is a poor example, as it ignores the well-established method by which any of those people could have tested their beliefs.)

>>>>You wouldn't know the same details about ice. If you experienced it, you could only say that exists and nothing else

Nonsense. I could describe in great detail the properties of the ice, how it behaved under a myriad of conditions I could put it in. In short, I could EXPERIMENT with the ice. Such experiments can, if they provide the proper data, correlate with other phenomenon that we DO know exists. That was the whole point of my melting example. What experiments could a theist do to test his experience of a god?

>>>>No, you would still be wrong for the right reasons. It doesn't matter about the avenue, since it could just be said that we don't have access to it.

If we don't have access to it, then there is no reason for me to believe that you witnessed it, since you are part of "we". If YOU witnessed it, then WE can witness it as well. There is a way. There is a method, even if it is unavailable at a given moment. HOW is this whole ice example in any way analogous to experience of gods? I know that you are arguing for personal experience, but WHAT avenues exist AT ALL that can arrive at the same experience of the existence of a god?

>>>>>You are the claimant here. I am the one taking the con position. By saying there is no evidence or tenable arguments that god exists, you are saying you can refute any reason for believing in god.

Nonsense. There are any number of reasons for believing in gods that I could not refute. A person could tell me they believe in a god because they saw the ghost of their dead mother bring them a cake that had "Believe in God" written on it in icing. Clearly there is no way I can refute such a claim. My argument is that, even though millions of people have given humanity millions of different reasons for believing in supernatural beings, none of those reasons are rational. I can't refute the reason, but I can show how it is not rational to arrive at the conclusion that a god MUST exist simply from such reasons. There are better explanations for every reason that has been presented. Meanwhile, there are NO explanations for the experiences provided by so many testimonies. Until these testimonies provide an explanation for their claims, I am under no obligation to accept them as evidence. I am only the "claimant" with respect to the rationality of a claim, not the claim itself.

>>>>No evidence from YOUR experience has been presented for the existence of gods.

No.... no evidence has been PRESENTED. To present evidence implies an interaction with others. Once others have experienced the evidence, then it's out... there is no "your" or "my" experience. That is precisely why evidence is so important; it removes proof from the subjective (your or my "experience") and places it in the objective (the evidence now stands on its own strength, divorced from personal interpretation.)

>>>>>>We can only take what we know and our personal experiences and weigh them against other people's claims and sort out the probabilities of each one being right.

Or...we can observe our experiences, gather data, do some research and create working models that will predict future experiences in controlled environments. Then, every time the predictions are made successfully, we can mark it down as evidence. After a long enough time and with enough independent corroborations, the evidence will stand on its own, without a need to sort out probabilities of correct personal experiences.

>>>>Just because our experiences are different doesn't do anything to discount god.

Sorry, but once again, we do not need to discount god; there is no need to discount something that has not been shown to exist.

>>>>What exactly he encountered is for him to sort out, but you can not refute it outright from your vantage point, only make inferences from what you have experienced and know.

There is no attempt here to refute experiences. I am only claiming that belief that such experiences were real cannot be the result of rational thought. Sure, I can make an inference: my inference is that his belief that his experience of a god was REAL is an irrational one.

>>>>With the ice example, ice couldn't be falsified to you,

Of course it could. One could search for it, using as a starting point the scant testimony that we have about its location. It matters not whether we are "capable" of doing so at that time... we're not capable of searching the nearest neighboring star system for the existence of life. But as long as that is a viable test that would merit an answer YES or NO, then it is falsifiable. Gods, as I've explained in previous rounds, are not falsifiable.

In summary, I think our proverbial wall has been hit because you strongly suggest that personal experience alone is sufficient to believe the supernatural actually exists. I am having difficulty debating this with you because you consistently imply that a) I am trying to refute one's personal experience, and b) you use examples of natural things that can be falsified.

I am not trying to refute one's personal experience, only that personal experience ALONE of a SUPERNATURAL event does not merit reasonable belief, but rather "faith-based" belief.

I consider one's personal experience of a god to be neither tangible, for it cannot be reproduced or falsified, or philosophical, since personal testimony is insufficient to explain such an extraordinary claim. We have evidence of anthropological need for belief in gods; we have evidence of the human brain creating very real images and experiences that are not real. We have NO evidence that gods exist. It is irrational to oppose the former and believe the latter.

As a final argument, I want to tell you about an interesting thing that happened to me last night:

I, Pazmusik, experienced every dimension in and outside the universe last night in a meditative state. My experience showed that there were NO gods, anywhere, period.

Is it REASONABLE for me to believe my experience was real and accurate? If yes, then both theist and atheist positions are valid; a contradiction. If no, then neither is it reasonable for the theist.
Daxitarian

Con

Thank you for this lively and thought provoking debate.

"2) that what the testimonies claim are REAL, PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE, REPEATABLE occurrences that have been known to exist and occur and do not require further explanation."

Reply: If by repeatable, you mean scientifically, then that wouldn't be correct because we don't know most of the stuff we know through science. Science doesn't and can't explain most of the things in our lives. If you want to argue that it is science that determines ultimately determines what is true and false. But what determines if that statement is true or false? I'm not knocking science or suggesting it is wrong, but if it is suggested that there is some aspect of the universe that the scientific method is incapable of observing, then science wouldn't be what could tell you if it was true. As for physically possible, I outlined in round one a possible idea, earth's "meta-consciousness," as a possible way for a concept of god to exist. It may be watered down version to some, but nonetheless, it might meet some minimal requirements for deity.

"Again, when ten people tell me that they saw you eat a snickers bar yesterday, it's reasonable to believe them. But when ten people tell me they saw you fly on the back of a unicorn yesterday, then BEFORE I can even consider whether their testimony is truly corroborative, I first need explanations on the existence of flying unicorns."

Reply: But it does mean that they saw something. We aren't debating a specific god, just if a concept of one can be reasonably thought of with what we know of our natural world. So it could be that ten people saw me flying on what they thought to be a unicorn, but it turned out to be something else. Likewise, it could be the case that people's experience with the divine is something that our brains haven't evolved to fully comprehend, so it has to be put into terms we are more familiar with, like grandfatherly bearded men and such.

"Nonsense. I could describe in great detail the properties of the ice, how it behaved under a myriad of conditions I could put it in. In short, I could EXPERIMENT with the ice."

Reply: First, unless you are a professional scientist, you don't form your beliefs by actually going out and doing experiments, you listen to what scientists say. But what the theist is describing is something that is beyond the capacity to experiment. But what is being said doesn't necessarily contradict what we know through experimentation (remember, it's not any specific type of god/religion we are talking about, just god in general).

Second, it doesn't matter what you can do with ice, because the parameters of the thought experiment could be such to where you only had limited access to the ice or experimentation was beyond your current means.

"HOW is this whole ice example in any way analogous to experience of gods?"

Reply: Just replace "ice" with "god" and "tropical climate" to "current limitations to our sense data" and "Rocky mountains" with "property of the universe that we haven't evolved to fully engage."

"My argument is that, even though millions of people have given humanity millions of different reasons for believing in supernatural beings, none of those reasons are rational."

Reply: And why is their personal experience not rational? because there is no god? and why is there no god? because all the reasons to believe are irrational.

"but I can show how it is not rational to arrive at the conclusion that a god MUST exist simply from such reasons."

Reply: but not everyone who believes in god is saying he "MUST" exist because of their personal reasons, but that they find it to be the most probable explanation. There is such a thing as weak theism.

"There are better explanations for every reason that has been presented."

Reply: As I said earlier, I am an atheist as well and find this to be the most satisfying answer. But I don't have access to everyone's experience, so there is a chance that I could be wrong.

"To present evidence implies an interaction with others."

Reply: There are some issues of semantics here. I am using the barest definition of evidence, a sign or reason to believe, which includes personal evidence, a kind that isn't repeatable. If we were talking about strictly scientific evidence, then you would be right, but I don't this matter should be excluded to just one and not the other.

"Sorry, but once again, we do not need to discount god; there is no need to discount something that has not been shown to exist."

Reply: shown in YOUR own experience to exist. Going back to our thought experiment, "There is no need to discount ice, since you can't prove to me right now that it exists."

"I am only claiming that belief that such experiences were real cannot be the result of rational thought"

Reply: You can only make such a claim if you present evidence that there is no god, which then the tables have turned and you must then become the claimant.

"Gods, as I've explained in previous rounds, are not falsifiable."

Reply: Not so. Some concepts of god may contain inherent contradictions, i.e. being all powerful, that would refute them.

"I am having difficulty debating this with you because you consistently imply that a) I am trying to refute one's personal experience,"

Reply: To say that religious experience is irrational is to do so. I'm not sure what you are saying here: "I'm not saying your experience was wrong, but to believe it is totally irrational?" If it is irrational, then you now have an argument for something that is in contradiction to the belief.

(from round 1)? "Thus, it requires not just a simple blind faith to believe in a god, but a faith that must systematically oppose the realities of human knowledge and understanding," What exactly about god is it that is in opposition to what we know about reality?

"Is it REASONABLE for me to believe my experience was real and accurate? If yes, then both theist and atheist positions are valid; a contradiction. If no, then neither is it reasonable for the theist."

Reply: But we aren't arguing the specifics of god, just if it rational to believe in one. It could be that what you experienced and the theist experienced were outside our current sense data capacities, like a blind man who feels the warmth of light, there could be a divine that our species hasn't evolved to fully grasp. So it's not a contradiction, just that you were both unable to grasp what was happening.

Our brains didn't evolve to understand the universe, but rather, to do our genetic puppet master's bidding. And like the ice analogy, there could be more to the universe than what you and I have the capacity to experience. And some type of concept of god could fit in there. You said you could explain how substances change to give a reason for ice, I gave a theory of cognition to explain how god could evolve.

Science can tell us many useful things, but it doesn't decide everything. That's the problem with Richard Dawkins is that he uses his credentials as a scientist to try to pass himself off as a philosopher. And in so doing, he glosses over other arguments like miracles and reasons from religious experience.

So, is there a god? I don't believe so...but someone is out to get me.
Debate Round No. 5
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jacobgunter 9 years ago
jacobgunter
Its impossible to disprove anything or to prove anything as abstract as God, just as we cant prove that the big-bang occured, or that we werent created by aliens.

The only proff that we can have is what we feel in our hearts through faith.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
You know, Agent tried to send me a debate over this ridiculous inability to understand what I'm trying to get across. I think I finally got through to him that I'm not saying atheism is the best position. Atheism implies no belief in God, I have never taken the stance that the lack of evidence in God proclaims there isn't one.

I added "period" so that you wouldn't try to reply to something I haven't even said later on in my response. The concept I'm trying to get across is simple, so I'm glad that you're the only one left who seems incapable of understanding.

I've given up, I'm not even going to try and reclarify once more.
Posted by Daxitarian 9 years ago
Daxitarian
"Science gives you more answers than the belief in God ever will, period."

Adding confidence to your statement doesn't compensate for lack of reasoning.

So....Science has explained everything? I never said science doesn't give us answers, but for some people's experience, god, or some "other," makes sense and it is in no way inconsistent with what we know of the natural world.

We are all trying to make sense of reality from our different vantage points. Our brains didn't evolve to understand the complexity of the universe, only to understand enough to reproduce. So it isn't surprising that people reach different conclusions and it is possible that I could be wrong.

Saying that atheism is the better position because god hasn't been proven scientifically is, and I can't reiterate this enough, fallaciously arguing from ignorance. It is the same fallacy as saying God exists because you can't prove him wrong.

I addressed your comments by posting them verbatim, how am I not focusing on what you are saying? If this is really arguing about nothing, why are you so insecure about it? What is it that makes you want to slap me so? Think about it.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Hmm, thank you Agent... that one wasn't very well thought out on my part.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Look, Dax -- there is no winning with you. I know somebody like you in person, I'd rather slap him than argue with him.

Science gives you more answers than the belief in God ever will, period. I am well aware religion and God aren't the same thing, I never said that either. In fact, if you'd focus on replying to what I'm actually saying instead of what you manage to incorrectly extricate from the words I type, there'd really be nothing for you to argue about.

There is a big difference between people who like to and have the ability to debate and somebody who just can't stop themselves from arguing about nothing.

Is there any wonder this page lags? Nothing but bad results connected to you.
Posted by Agent_D 9 years ago
Agent_D
to doublex,

Who said earth is the center of the universe? i doubt if you refer to the bible? It was primitive science who proclaimed such idea/theory.(Science against science) church participation was only holding for truth. " We cannot hold this as truth if there was no evidence to support this claim(refering to "earth is not a center of the universe")". they never agree immediately because law on gravity was not totally established at that time.
Posted by pazmusik 9 years ago
pazmusik
Atheism is simply a lack of belief.

If you do not take a position on KNOWLEDGE of a thing, then you are agnostic.

Atheism is not a positive claim. Did you read the materials I provided links for?
Posted by Daxitarian 9 years ago
Daxitarian
"Atheism is not a position"

Again, from the dictionary:

6. LOGIC A proposition laid down or asserted; a tenant or assertion.

Atheism is the assertion that god does not exist. If you were not to take a position on the matter, you would be an agnostic.
Posted by Daxitarian 9 years ago
Daxitarian
"It's easy to believe in those simple stories used to explain things such as the creation of the Universe, our own Earth and human beings..."

But we aren't debating any particular view of religion, but rather just god. You think everyone that believes in god must also believe in some religion, when they are really two separate issues.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 9 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Why am I having such a hard time getting this simple concept across?

If an individual is looking for answers to those big questions, they'll find more of those answers in science than they will otherwise. I do not propose this means there's no God, but intellectually -- you get further along believing in science.

It's easy to believe in those simple stories used to explain things such as the creation of the Universe, our own Earth and human beings... but it's definitely more interesting to hear scientists explain where water and oxygen came from and follow as they go up through the process of evolution.

It wasn't long ago that we thought the Earth was the center of the Universe. This seemed logical under all of the existing Gods... so is that not an example of how future scientific advancements will deliver us even more information that the story books of holy texts will never be able to provide?
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by pazmusik 8 years ago
pazmusik
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by solo 9 years ago
solo
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
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 
Vote Placed by kato0291 9 years ago
kato0291
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Agent_D 9 years ago
Agent_D
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
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 
Vote Placed by nebosleeper 9 years ago
nebosleeper
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Daxitarian 9 years ago
Daxitarian
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
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 
Vote Placed by PreacherFred 9 years ago
PreacherFred
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
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 
Vote Placed by flyingtuna420 9 years ago
flyingtuna420
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by MatterOfFact 9 years ago
MatterOfFact
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
pazmusikDaxitarianTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30