There is no god/gods
Debate Rounds (3)
Pro (me) will argue against theism, Con (whoever accepts) will argue for theism
This is just a brief debate that I want to be laid back and relaxed, I do not want snarky or condescending attitudes and no name calling; I just want to address the points and let your argument speak for what you believe. With the start of the second round I will present my first point, and Con can choose to rebuttal this or ignore it and then can choose to present his/her own points. No pressure, just a calm, casual debate, please.
Major Point #1 "Unfalsifiable Hypothesis"
Deities, as a whole, are generally unfalsifiable hypotheses, that is to say that they cannot be proven or disproven in either direction. You cannot disprove the concept of a god if that god can constantly change its qualities to mold to the image of reality that has been proven with modern science and research.
The problem with unfalsifiable hypotheses is that they can be used in any instance and can be used as an argument for any statement. For example, one could say that I have a magical unicorn as a pet, but it is invisible, intangible and non perceivable in any way, shape or form, or I could say that I can turn invisible, but only if nobody else is looking. People tend not to believe unfalsifiable hypotheses because it is not in human nature to do so: people tend to believe only what they can perceive or what makes logical sense.
You could argue that if we chose not to believe in everything we couldn't see, hear, smell, etc. then we wouldn't believe in things like gravity and radiation, but most atheists believe in these things (theists too obviously). However, despite the fact that these real things cannot actually be witnessed, their effects on the world around them can be observed with ease. If you release a stone, it will fall to the Earth, we can use modern technology to measure the force of attraction between objects, and we can do all of this without seeing, hearing, etc. We can observe the effects of radiation on the body and on other objects. We can see, or we can hear, or feel, or smell, or taste the effects of radiation, gravity, and other similar, real things/concepts/processes, and this is where we can use logic to reason that gravity did this or radiation caused this.
We cannot, however, see the effects of any deity upon our environment; we cannot detect anything it has said to have done. There are certain things, yes, that can be credited to deities, the creation of the universe for instance, and the creation of life. This is called the "God-of-the-gaps" argument that reasons that any gap in scientific knowledge can be credited to god. The problem with the god of the gaps is that it is shrinking as time progresses and science advances. Clouds were once considered the direct creation of deities and ancient Egyptians believed that Ra, the sun god, had the sun with him as he sailed across the sky during the day, died at night and was reborn the next day. This was until the water cycle was discovered and the movement of Earth and the other planets around the sun was understood. The same can go with any god of the gaps now. To say "everything around you can't be by chance therefore god did it" is a god of the gaps argument, but maybe one day we will understand beyond our feeble guesses and hypotheses made by scientific observation, the answer to all of these questions could be answered by science. This god of the gaps will slowly shrink further and further as it always has. So if a deity was always behind it, why does its existence become more and more unnecessary with each passing day of scientific advancement?
For more on unfalsifiable hypotheses go to the "Resources" section at the bottom.
Minor Point #1 "Falsifiable Hypothesis"
However, when scripture and/or a set rules to a religion are put in place, they become falsifiable. That is to say, when a god/gods that is/are restricted to a holy book of some kind, as with fundamentalist Christianity for example, these religions become falsifiable. Some scripture, I"m sure, hasn't been falsified before, but in some cases, such as in the "Abrahamic faiths" of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam which all incorporate concepts revealed to Prophet Moses in a revelation from God known as the Torah/Old Testament/Taurat, they have been disproved or falsified.
There are many things in the revelation of Prophet Moses that have been disproven by modern science. For familiarity purposes, I'll just use the Old Testament.
The most commonly debunked stance of the Old Testament is perhaps the easiest to disprove for the common man and most explicit;y mentioned in the actual Bible. The Bible contends that the Earth is around 6,000-10,000 years old, an age that is calculated by adding up the years between the generations listed in the book of Genesis and the years since Abraham. In reality, through a multitude of scientific techniques, scientists have come up with empirical evidence and determined the age of the Earth to be much more than 10,000 years old max. There are many instances of incorrect science in the Bible found on a webpage in the "Sources" section.
I'd once again like to thank my opponent, Balacafa, for accepting my challenge and to turn over the metaphorical gavel to him/her.
For more on radiometric dating, wrong scientific facts in the Bible, unfalsifiable hypotheses, and the Egyptian god Ra, if you"re interested for some reason, refer to the source section below.
Explanation of scientific dating of the Earth by Christian scientist, Dr. Roger C. Wiens:
Brief explanation of radiometric dating:
Where the bible gets science wrong:
More on unfalsifiable hypotheses:
More on Rae:
We"re at the right distance from our Sun so that temperatures are conducive to life.
We have the right atmospheric pressure for liquid water at our surface.
We have the right ingredients; the right balance of heavy elements and organic molecules for life to arise.
We have the right amount of water so that our world has both oceans and continents.
And life started on our world very early, sustained itself for our planet"s entire history, and gave rise to us: sentient, self-aware creatures.
All this goes beyond the definition of a coincidence. It goes beyond the definition of a rare occurrence. We may not know exactly who God is and what he/she looks like but it is pretty clear that this is no coincidence.
If there ever had been a time when absolutely nothing existed, then there would be nothing now, because it always is true that nothing produces nothing. If something exists now, then something always has existed. There is no contradiction to this because if there was then atheism wouldn't exist.
You claim that we cannot see the effects of any deity upon our environment. The fact that our environment exists is an argument in favor of God's existence. If God has the capacity to create the universe (and possibly other universes) then it is very likely that he can disguise any evidence in favor of his existence if he wanted to.
Your argument against the Old Testament is valid however for approximately 300 the bible was passed down orally and figures such as the Earth's age is easy to get wrong. It is clear that a lot of the bible isn't completely correct.
1) In response to the first paragraph of Con"s argument: the god of the gaps means not that God is non existent, because part of a deity's attributes is its ability to be omnipotent and omnipresent, but the god of the gaps means that God is not necessary for explaining events, like clouds or the movement of the sun and stars
2) In response to the second and third paragraphs of Con"s argument: this is an anthropocentric argument. The same could be said by any other intelligent life form, formed under other circumstances. That is to say that, if there was another form of intelligent life on another planet that is Sulfur based, has a gas-based circulatory system and must breathe in Argon gas to live they would be praising their Sulfur God for having created their universe and world is such a perfect way that they are able to live, for if their was just a little bit less Argon in their atmosphere they"d all be dead. There is no way to say that they way life exists here is the only way it can exist elsewhere, on different planets, or in different universes. The same could be said for the "Mathematical constant" argument that is often used by theists, that maybe their is life in alternate universes with different laws, assuming that all of mathematics is constant, which has even come close to being proven.
3) In response to the fourth paragraph of Con"s argument: atheism is a lack of believe in an almighty and intelligent creator/creators, this leaves atheists to be a widely diverse group. Atheism does explain where our world came from, though most believe it along with the rest of the universe originated with the Big Bang, however, this belief isn"t mandatory for an atheist, nor does it explain where all of the matter in the big bang came from. There are endless explanations of the origin of matter and energy, being an atheist merely means that you refuse to believe any explanation that involves a deity of any kind.
In addition, I have yet to talk to a theist who could give me a satisfactory answer to the question "Well, if a God or gods created the universe, then who created God or the gods?" The answer is usually either "he/they have always been" or "he/they created themselves". The problem with this is that it makes as much logical sense as saying "the matter of the big bang created itself" or that it has always been there. The point is that no person, theist or atheist, can answer that question satisfactorily, they do not know, they cannot know, not for a very long time if ever (unless theism is correct and you could simply ask God/the gods).
Whatever the answer for the origin of matter and energy is, it will likely be very astounding and well beyond our initial grasp as mere humans, and as of now, the only difference between theists and atheists on that matter is that theists believe the answer will involve a deity and atheists believe it will not.
4) In response to the fifth paragraph of Con"s argument: this is possible, I agree.
But this is where faith comes in. Yes, faith, atheists must have it to. Faith to believe that God is a twisted tyrant who would ever think of hiding proof of his existence. Gods of almost every religion require their subjects to believe only in them, so why would they, if they are indeed not inherently malevolent, leave behind very little if any evidence to support their existence, command their subjects to believe in them and no other god, cut off regular communication with them, then punish them for losing faith in their existence?
Of course, the previous paragraph isn"t a sufficient rebuttal if you believe in a god/gods that either don"t punish you for losing faith in them or were never intended as benevolent in the first place. If that is the case, refer to the paragraph before that.
5) In response to the sixth paragraph of Con"s argument: this argument was intended for fundamentalist Jews, Christians, and Muslims who take that portion of the holy books literally and not for the average person, or even the average Jew/Christian/Muslim. Additionally, by stating that "It is clear that a lot of the bible isn"t completely correct", Con is actually assisting my point.
In my previous argument I argued three points and rolled them into one because it is hard for me at least to separate these when I get started on them, and collectively, they provide the backbone for my atheism.
First I made the point that religion is an unfalsifiable hypothesis, a statement that can"t be proven or disproven either way. The problem with this is that any number of ridiculous and inaccurate statements are also unfalsifiable hypotheses.
Secondly, I delved into the fact that, as far as I can tell, God is not necessary for the origin of life and the universe by assaulting the god of the gaps.
Thirdly, I addressed the issue of lack of evidence. This was the "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence" which, I admit, doesn"t stand well alone, but the good thing for me is that is was not.
Finally, I made an attempt at disproving fundamentalist abrahamic faiths by pointing out logical and scientific fallacies in the one section they have in common: the Torah/Old Testament/Taurat.
As this is a short debate, I would like to address this point that Con may present after my last chance to speak has passed:
"Morality is Objective": God/gods are not essential for morality to exist. Evolutionary atheists believe that morality is actually just empathy being applied. That is to say, we feel empathy for other humans and other living things, and therefore we don"t do things that we wouldn"t want that to be done to us ourselves, and the reason we are able to step into other"s shoes like that is because of empathy. Empathy could"ve evolved to promote generation: life always want to pass their genes on to the next generation and to preserve their species, so they don"t do harm to other humans readily (at least not for the most part), to protect their own genetic lineage. This is why scientific studies point to the fact that people are more inclined to aid those that are more similar to themselves: it is a sign to our brains that they have more similar genetics (there are other factors involved in this, but this is one of them). For more about atheistic/evolutionary/subjective morality refer to the "Source" section.
I could address some more points but I lack the motivation to go to that much trouble and would rather just let Con speak.
Major Point #2 "Logical Fallacy":
This will be the final point that I would like to make.
As religion has already been proven previously in my argument to not be supported by empirical evidence, or insufficient empirical evidence, we as people can take a step back and look at the concept of religion as an entire picture. God or the gods are said to have always been or had created themselves and now they"ve created the world and everything in it and having ultimate knowledge of this universe they"ve created, they live forever, see and know everything, punish you for being naughty, sometimes, at things that wouldn"t be considered negative if that god was removed from the equation, and reward you for living a life subject to control by pastors and preachers, rely on animal sacrifice, faith and chastity, and where said believer was born and what family he/she was born to and are ultimately limited to the knowledge of the people of their time. When someone looks at that after they"ve realized there is no actual proof for this being(s) existence and after they"ve removed their many cultural bias" they realize that that claim is just as absurd as Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. This is because their is equal evidence for Santa and God, the only difference is that as you grow up nobody around you is debating the existence of Santa Claus in a heated manner, no one is claiming that Santa demons are possessing them, no one hold sermons for St. Nick, and no presidents have been sworn in with their hand on "The Night Before Christmas".
In conclusion, I"d like to reiterate my previous statements that I do not believe I nor anyone can disprove God(s) completely, I recognize it takes faith (though I personally believe it takes less) to be an atheist, I don"t wish to disparage or discriminate against anyone for their faith in any god, and I therefore hope that no one took offense to what I"ve just said.
I"d like to thank the readers for taking time out of their day to read and assess this debate, and I"d like to turn the gavel back over to Balacafa to resume and conclude his arguments. VOTE PRO.
More on atheist morality:
"The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence."
Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."
The proof that God has always been there is that God created the universe(s) and therefore he also created time. Before time existed God wouldn't age and if God didn't age then he wouldn't die either. Just because there is no scientific explanation for God this doesn't necessarily mean that God is non - existent.
The reason that I am saying the Bible is incorrect is doing the opposite of assisting your point. By saying that the Bible is incorrect I am saying that some of the evidence you took from "Where the bible gets science wrong" may have originally been correct. After being passed down for generations it is very likely that some of the story was changed. Even if this information was originally wrong the Bible wasn't written by God himself it was written by his followers.
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