The Instigator
Cantoraxia
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
1Credo
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

There is no evidence for god

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 3 votes the winner is...
1Credo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/8/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 962 times Debate No: 61414
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)

 

Cantoraxia

Pro

There is nothing in existence that can be evidence for god.
1Credo

Con

1. Acceptance

I accept. Thank you for creating this debate, Pro.

2. Definition of God

In this discussion, I will be defending the idea that there is at least one piece of evidence in favor of God's existence. I will put forth a definition for the God I will be defending, as one has not been submitted by Pro.

God: A maximally great being.

3. Burden of Proof

Pro has asserted that "There is no evidence for God." It follows from this assertion that Pro will be responsible for carrying the burden of proof in this debate. Pro must demonstrate that there is not a single piece of evidence to think that God exists. I will await Pro's arguments and address them in the following round.

4. Arguments in Favor of God's Existence

I will list and very briefly describe five arguments in favor of the existence of God. Further response will be given after Pro's objections have been made, if Pro makes any. In order to reject the conclusion of these arguments, Pro must knock down at least one premise in each of the five arguments presented. If Pro fails to knock down each of the five arguments, then we have at least one good reason to believe that God exists.

God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
P1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2) The universe began to exist.
C1) Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Something cannot come from nothing. The universe came into existence between 13-14 billion years ago in an event known as the "Big Bang" [1]. I would like Pro to give his/her thoughts on what caused the big bang.

God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.
P1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
P2) Objective moral values and duties do exist.
C1) Therefore, God exists.

In order to believe that actions such as rape and murder are objectively wrong, one must affirm objective morality. But objective moral laws cannot exist without an objective moral law-giver. I would like Pro to give his/her thoughts on whether he/she affirms objective morality.

God is the best explanation for why there is anything at all rather than nothing.
P1) Everything that exists has an explanation for its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or due to an external cause.
P2) If the universe has an explanation for its existence, that explanation is God.
P3) The universe exists.
C1) Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from P1, P3)
C2) Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God (from P2, C1)

I think it is fairly self-evident that the universe is not necessary by its own nature. If Pro disagrees with this, I will provide further comments. If the universe is not necessary, then what is the explanation for its existence? I would like Pro to give his/her thoughts on why anything at all exists rather than nothing.

The very possibility of God implies His actuality.
P1) It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
P2) If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
P3) If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
P4) If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
P5) If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
C1) Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

It follows from P1 that is the concept of a maximally great being (God) is even possible, His actuality is implied. I would like Pro to give his/her thoughts on whether or not it is possible (as opposed to incoherent) that God should exist.

God is the best explanation for the fine-tuning of our universe for intelligent life.
P1) The fine-tuning of the universe is due either to physical necessity, chance, or design.
P2) It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
C1) Therefore, it is due to design.

That the universe is finely-tuned for intelligent life is fairly uncontroversial. I would like Pro to give his/her thoughts on what the explanation for this finely-tuned universe is.

NOTE: Pro has not specified that the evidence for God must be objective. As a result, it seems to me that personal revelation is fair game in this debate, and thus is good evidence for the existence of God.

I await Pro's response.

5. Summary

Pro has taken it upon him/herself to carry the burden of proof in this debate by attempting to justify the claim that "There is no evidence for God." Pro must put forward some sort of warrant for this claim, otherwise it seems that he/she has failed to carry the burden of proof. I have put forward five arguments of my own in attempt to show that there is at least one reason to believe that God exists. Pro must tear down each of the five arguments I have presented, and in their place put forward his/her own arguments if Pro wants us to accept the claim that there is not a single piece of evidence (objective or subjective) in favor of God.


Sources:
http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu......
Debate Round No. 1
Cantoraxia

Pro

I thank Con for accepting.

I don't see it as necessary to refute any of the arguments put forward by Willaim Lane Craig Con due to irrelevance, lack of evidential back up and mere assertion.

However, this argument:

"God is the best explanation for why there is anything at all rather than nothing.
P1) Everything that exists has an explanation for its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or due to an external cause.
P2) If the universe has an explanation for its existence, that explanation is God.
P3) The universe exists.
C1) Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from P1, P3)
C2) Therefore, the explanation of the universe"s existence is God (from P2, C1)"

goes someway to making my argument for me. The belief here that nothing can exist without god shows that everything that exists does so because of god. This would mean that everything that exists is evidence for god, which renders the term "evidence" meaningless in this context because we have nothing to contrast against - there is nothing in existence you could point to that can't be evidence for god. So to clarify, there is no evidence for god because here the term "evidence" becomes void of meaning.

To refute this, Con would have to point to something in existence that they believe can't be evidence for god, but that would also mean dropping their argument above.
1Credo

Con

Thanks, Pro.

1. Rebuttal

"I don't see it as necessary to refute any of the arguments"

That's awfully convenient for you. In each of the five arguments I presented, I asked for a response from Pro. No response has been given to four of these five arguments. Pro either agrees with the arguments, or else is not able to reason against them. In either case, the arguments hold sound until Pro refutes each of them.

"The belief here that nothing can exist without god shows that everything that exists does so because of god. This would mean that everything that exists is evidence for god, which renders the term "evidence" meaningless in this context because we have nothing to contrast against - there is nothing in existence you could point to that can't be evidence for god. So to clarify, there is no evidence for god because here the term "evidence" becomes void of meaning."

Pro correctly states that everything that exists is evidence for God. The fact that anything exists as opposed to nothing serves as evidence for God, as demonstrated by the third argument I presented. I'm not sure how or why Pro decides to make the jump from "everything that exists is evidence for God" to "evidence becomes void of meaning." This is an unwarranted claim. Evidence has a definition: "something which shows that something else exists or is true" [1]. This definition is not in conflict with what we are discussing. The fact that existence itself serves as evidence for God does not somehow make the word evidence "void of meaning."

2. Burden of Proof

Pro has not provided a single argument to support his claim that "There is no evidence for God." As such, the burden of proof has not been carried by Pro thus far.

3. Arguments in Favor of God's Existence

In the opening round I presented five arguments in favor of the existence of God. Four of these arguments went untouched by Pro. The argument that Pro did respond to was addressed above (in the section labeled "Rebuttal.") None of the arguments that I presented have been knocked down. Each remains sound and is therefore evidence for God's existence.

4. Summary

Pro has not carried the burden of proof for his claim that "There is no evidence for God." No arguments have been given to support this assertion, whereas five arguments have been given in favor of the existence of God. As it stands, we can conclude that there is evidence for God.

Sources:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Cantoraxia

Pro

P: "I don't see it as necessary to refute any of the arguments"

C: "That's awfully convenient for you. In each of the five arguments I presented, I asked for a response from Pro. No response has been given to four of these five arguments."

Con is quote mining here. I gave my reasons as to why I haven't refuted these arguments. This isn't about convenience, but about the irrelevance of the arguments. To expand on that, Con seems to think that summarising five common arguments without any evidential support should be seen as sound by default. I can't emphasise enough how arguments are not evidence. Evidence is used to support arguments. Con has provided no evidence and therefore I see no reason to take the arguments as axiomatically correct unless shown otherwise.

As a side, I am willing to debate each of these arguments separately in new debates, or even discuss them privately with Con if they so wish.

"Pro either agrees with the arguments, or else is not able to reason against them. In either case, the arguments hold sound until Pro refutes each of them."

This is a false dichotomy. My reasons for not refuting them were stated.

"Pro correctly states that everything that exists is evidence for God. The fact that anything exists as opposed to nothing serves as evidence for God, as demonstrated by the third argument I presented."

This is an assertion, and the third argument also only presents it as an assertion and demonstrates nothing.

"Pro correctly states that everything that exists is evidence for God. The fact that anything exists as opposed to nothing serves as evidence for God, as demonstrated by the third argument I presented. I'm not sure how or why Pro decides to make the jump from "everything that exists is evidence for God" to "evidence becomes void of meaning." This is an unwarranted claim. Evidence has a definition: "something which shows that something else exists or is true" [1]. This definition is not in conflict with what we are discussing."

It's quite a simple and straightforward concept to make the link between everything being evidence to evidence becoming meaningless. I did state this previously in that if everything is evidence for god then there is nothing to contrast against. As an analogy, take light and dark - if everything in existence was dark there would be no light, but dark only has meaning when we contrast it to light. If the concept of light has never existed, then it means nothing for something to be dark. The same works with evidence.

"The fact that existence itself serves as evidence for God does not somehow make the word evidence "void of meaning." "

Again, Con just asserts that existence is evidence, to the extent that they are saying it is a fact. Nothing has been presented here to demonstrate that this is the most reasonable stance to take, never mind to demonstrate that it is fact. To do that, Con should provide some evidence, but since Con has the pick of every. single. thing there is to use as "evidence", his argument becomes unfalsifiable. Again, this is down to lack of contrast - there is nothing that isn't evidence, therefore evidence loses meaning and therefore there is no evidence for god.

"Pro has not provided a single argument to support his claim that "There is no evidence for God." As such, the burden of proof has not been carried by Pro thus far."

I had provided an argument where I explained, like above, that there is no evidence for god if it's to be believed that everything is evidence for god because the term "evidence" loses meaning.

"In the opening round I presented five arguments in favor of the existence of God. Four of these arguments went untouched by Pro. The argument that Pro did respond to was addressed above (in the section labeled "Rebuttal.") None of the arguments that I presented have been knocked down. Each remains sound and is therefore evidence for God's existence."

Con doesn't seem to understand that arguments are not evidence. All Con has done is present five summaries of arguments and think that they hold sound until they are refuted. This is not how it works. Arguments are sound if they can be demonstrated to be sound, generally through reason and evidence, and it's the null hypothesis that is held as the default position. I am forced to hold to the null hypothesis as Con has only given summaries of their arguments and not supported them in anyway. I cannot refute that which isn't presented.

"Pro has not carried the burden of proof for his claim that "There is no evidence for God." No arguments have been given to support this assertion, whereas five arguments have been given in favor of the existence of God. As it stands, we can conclude that there is evidence for God."

Again, to repeat, I had given an argument. I've stated that argument again. Con even responded to that argument. Con even believes the first premise of my argument - that everything is evidence for god. From there, I have shown my reasoning as to why this means there is no evidence for god.

I will also repeat again that arguments are not evidence. Evidence is used to support arguments.


What I have found quite telling about Con's approach to provide evidence for god, is that they are using regurgitated arguments while simultaneously believing that everything in existence is evidence for god, but doesn't feel compelled to pick anything else but these arguments. Why is that?...

Anyway, that's me done for this debate. I've enjoyed it and thank Con for taking part.
1Credo

Con

Pro has not responded to any of the questions I posed towards him/her. None of the arguments I presented were objected to. I stated when presenting the arguments that Pro needed to first identify the premise that he/she took issue with so that we could discuss these controversial premises in the debate. Pro chose to not respond at all.

Furthermore, Pro has said nothing in response to what I noted about subjective evidence (i.e. personal testimony.) As Pro did not specify at the beginning of this debate that the evidence needed to be objective, it seems to me that personal experience is good evidence for the existence of God. This, and the objective arguments I presented at the beginning of the debate, have not been responded to by Pro.

I think we can conclude that there is at the very least one good piece of evidence for the existence of God. It follows from this conclusion that Pro has been unable to hold his/her assertion that there is not a single piece of evidence for God's existence.

I would like to thank Pro for creating and participating in this debate, good luck in any future debates!
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Dragonfang 2 years ago
Dragonfang
Torgo,

Disagreement or multiple theories does not imply that there is no independent truth. For example: In science experts frequently strongly disagree. Does this follow that there is no objective truth about matter and none of them is right?
The same goes for history, math, and logic.

Trying to explain where morality came from and then concluding that morality doesn't exist is a genetic fallacy.

Also, why is cooperation specifically moral? Animals kill and rape all the time; it is just nature at work. If your brain and instincts told you to steal from people or rape, then it is not immoral. Also, this position begs the question and presumes Atheism, the same position in question, this leads to circular argumentation.

Finally, subjective morality is self-refuting as it leads to a liar's paradox. If morality is subjective, then all moral values are equal, you should tolerate them all, you morality is "true for you", etc... Right?

Well, lets take an objectivist morality, lets say Islam. Do you believe it to be as valid/as true as your morality or not?
If the answer is yes, then by definition Islam's morality is true for everyone, and subjective morality is false.
If the answer is no, then you are contradicting your beliefs and took the position of objective morality.

There is no way out of this dilemma, but you are welcome to try.

Thank you for reading.
Posted by Torgo 2 years ago
Torgo
Hi 1Credo,

Sorry with my toing and froing from my computer I failed to refresh the page and didn't see you had posted.

Perhaps at some point in the future we may have a debate on the topics posed by me and reflected by you, I imagine I would enjoy that a great deal.

Yes some scientist talk nonsense, I like to call them string theorists but we all have our pet peeves.

For me adding a creator is merely adding another layer of complexity and compounds the problems of understanding the origins of the universe rather than relieving them. I understand that a creator would have to be timeless but as whatever you might call the universe prior to the Big Bang would also be timeless (in so much as everything would be happening at once rather than nothing happening at all) I see no reason to invoke a god.

I suspect that what this is really about is what constitutes 'nothing'. To say there was nothing before the Big Bang may not necessarily be accurate but as we don't know I'll refrain from making further guesses and perhaps that may be subject for a future debate.

Sorry I was unclear on what I agreed with, I was agreeing that if a specific God existed there could be an objective morality, however as peoples own morality is subjective then how are we suppose to know what the objective morally correct position to take is? But once again this opens up to which god to believe in so I shall avoid going off topic.

And in kind I'll look forward to watching the debate you posted but it'll have to wait until I get home.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
Torgo,

"I would agree..."
Which part would you agree with?

"If morality were objective then we would all agree on what is right and what is wrong but we do not."
This is a common misconception regarding objective morality. Just because objective morality exists, it does not follow that each of us must all agree on right and wrong. For example, if a man under illusion came to you and told you that he saw an 8-legged pig flying through the air, (I could've been much more creative with that, my apologies) would you believe him? Would this in any way cause you to doubt your eyesight due to the fact that you were not seeing this same 8-legged pig flying through the air?

In the same way, if a man comes to you telling you that rape and torture are perfectly moral, should you agree? Why should you allow this to cause you to doubt your moral senses, that rape and torture are wrong?

I will check out the videos you posted! As for the idea of morality being "a feature of cooperation between social animals" I would encourage you to watch this debate:
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
Torgo,

Sorry, I missed your other questions.

You're correct in saying that God should not be assumed to be the only explanation. My statement reads that God is the "best" explanation for the universe. Perhaps there are other explanations, but I have yet to hear a plausible one. As seen in the argument, in order to bring the universe into existence, the cause must be transcendent, eternal, and powerful. You suggested that quantum mechanics might be a candidate for this cause. But subatomic particles are not transcendent or eternal, so it seems to me that quantum mechanics is not a plausible candidate for the cause of the universe.

As for Krauss' quote, I would leave you with this from John Lennox:

"Nonsense remains nonsense, even when talked by world-famous scientists."
Posted by Torgo 2 years ago
Torgo
For Con,

"God is the best explanation for objective moral values and duties.
P1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
P2) Objective moral values and duties do exist.
C1) Therefore, God exists. "

I would agree, however this once again makes an assumption that morality is objective which, of course it cannot be. If morality were objective then we would all agree on what is right and what is wrong but we do not. By way of example if I asked you if you wanted to eat a dead human (I'm going to be a bit presumptuous here) I imagine you would be appalled but offer the same to the Aghoris of northern India and it would be considered an honour. If objective morality were true one of you would have to admit that what you have chosen is wrong but I expect neither of you would and therefore morality is subjective.

Morality in the case of humans is really a feature of cooperation between social animals. If I went around kicking everyone I met because I felt like it I'd probably be very lonely which would make me unhappy, as a result I don't go around kicking people. It's simple really, cooperation is considered moral because you are helping to improve the lives of the people around you. Being uncooperative is considered immoral because your actions are detrimental to the lives of people around you.

And these are not exclusively human traits here are elephants cooperating:
https://www.youtube.com...
And here are Capuchin monkeys who understand the difference between being treated fairly or unfairly:
https://www.youtube.com...

I hope you enjoy the videos as much as I, especially the Capuchin one :)
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
Torgo,

"Few people really ever try to conclusively defeat this argument with science because frankly the science is mind bogglingly complex. The simple answer is that if God is the best explanation which, god? How do you know yours is the right one? How do you know this universe is even intentional?"

These are very important questions, questions that theists and atheists alike should ask. In response to the question about "Which God?" I would first say that in this debate I am defending the idea that there is evidence for a God. I have not specified "my God." However, I think that once one has concluded that a God (or some sort of transcendent power, it doesn't even need to be called "God") is in existence, that individual can then go on to ask the sorts of questions you hint at. Which God? Is it a God of one of the world's major religions? Has this God even revealed His/Herself? These are very important questions to ask, and I would be happy to discuss possible answers with you (perhaps in a space where I'm not restricted to so little characters.) The key to keep in mind is that questions about "How do we know which God, if any, is the correct God?" are of no use until we have concluded that there is more evidence for theism (or even deism) than there is for atheism. We first need to conclude that some kind of God, or higher power, exists, and then we can move on to answer the sorts of questions that you have posed.
Posted by Torgo 2 years ago
Torgo
For Con,

"God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
P1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2) The universe began to exist.
C1) Therefore, the universe has a cause."

Few people really ever try to conclusively defeat this argument with science because frankly the science is mind bogglingly complex. The simple answer is that if God is the best explanation which, god? How do you know yours is the right one? How do you know this universe is even intentional?

For the statements to be correct you must assume the first line is true and just asserting this does not make it so. As such this cannot be considered a form of evidence.

The more complicated answer requires a good understanding of quantum physics but the basic outline is that the universe is flat, has zero total energy and could have come from nothing. "If you have nothing in quantum mechanics you'll always get something" - Lawrence Krauss.

I understand this is not an easy argument to accept largely because it is not easy to understand but it doesn't need to be understood in the same way God doesn't need to be understood for your initial statement ("God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe."). All this theory has to do is suggest another valid hypothesis to prove that your first statement cannot be assumed.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Except life. Of course if you really want to prove me wrong, just create life where there was no life before. That would do it .And we can debate other topics. They would have to shut the religion site down.I am sure if all you wizards of smart evolutionists would put your collective heads together you can come up with life. Even a one celled animal will do.After all, you claim there is no creator. So natural material, such as dirt had to have popped life out somehow.Until you do the same, I can conclude you are not yet as smart as dirt.
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy
You guys sure like to post LONG, Complex, statements, don't you?

If God didn't exist , nobody & nothing else could either.

This comment proves that God exists.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by ben671176 2 years ago
ben671176
Cantoraxia1CredoTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: "goes" by Pro. Lack of BoP from Pro, he could not prove the existence to god, and he never stated why not the universe is an example of god but just stated that it is fact without explaining why that is. Rest is what Envisage said.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
Cantoraxia1CredoTied
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: Despite claims to the contrary, pro never offered any evidence to meet the burden of proof.
Vote Placed by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Cantoraxia1CredoTied
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 don't really buy Pro's only relevant point that 'evidence loses it's meaning' in such a case. Pro the resolution set the bop on you, and I don't think it's a sane resolution to take BoP on, there is evidence for a flat earth (not very good evidence, but it exists), etc. 1credo didn't ave to do much this debate, but Cant did have a point tha none of credo's arguments were 'evidence' since none of the premises were supported at all. In any case, con wins due to lack of fulfilled bop.