The Instigator
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Tied
18 Points
The Contender
SuperPerfundo
Con (against)
Tied
18 Points

These Arguments Against the God of Christianity Are Valid - 1A.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 800 times Debate No: 6833
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (6)

 

TheSkeptic

Pro

*NOTE* - The "1A" notation is for searching/browsing purposes. I hope to have more of these debates. The resolution is simple and brief: I am here to argue that the God of the Bible and thus the teaching of Christianity does not exist, i.e. has no solid evidence for it's existence. Common attributes given to this God is omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence , omnipresence, and many others. These 4 "omni-attributes", however, is what I will be focusing upon. =====Arguments===== For this debate I will be utilizing two popular arguments: the Argument from Evil and the Argument from Non-Belief. 1. Argument from Evil If an all-loving God+exists,+then+why+does+evil+and+suffering+exist+in+the+world?+Christians+commonly+use+free+will+as+an+excuse+for+the+evil+in+the+world.+But+then,+the+burden+is+placed+on+my+opponent+to+show+why+God+would+prefer+us+having+free+will+rather+than+us+not+having+free+will,+or+having+free+will+with+moral+perfection.+Secondly,+the+Christian+has+to+somehow+account+for+natural+disasters+that+cause+millions+of+deaths,+tons+of+parasites+that+feed+on+humans,+and+of+course+bacteria+and+viruses.+While+some+bacterias+and+viruses+are+human-made+or+proliferated,+it's+foolish+to+say+every+virus+and+bacteria+does.+So+what+of+the+virus+that+kills+an+infant+in+4+months?+2.+Argument+from+Non-Belief I+will+paste+the+syllogism+that+Theodore+Drange[1]+formulated,+based+on+J.L.+Schellenberg's+original+formation+of+this+argument: 1.+If+God+exists,+God: 1.+wants+all+humans+to+believe+God+exists+before+they+die; 2.+can+bring+about+a+situation+in+which+all+humans+believe+God+exists+before+they+die; 3.+does+not+want+anything+that+would+conflict+with+and+be+at+least+as+important+as+its+desire+for+all+humans+to+believe+God+exists+before+they+die;+and 4.+always+acts+in+accordance+with+what+it+most+wants. 2.+If+God+exists,+all+humans+would+believe+so+before+they+die+(from+1). 3.+But+not+all+humans+believe+God+exists+before+they+die. 4.+Therefore,+God+does+not+exist+(from+2+and+3). =====Conclusion===== With+both+my+arguments+laid+out,+I+await+my+opponent's+rebuttal.+---References--- 1.+http://www.infidels.org...
SuperPerfundo

Con

Let me start by saying I am in no way a Christian and have found my own reasons for not believing, but the ones you have listed aren't among mine, so I accepted the debate.

1. I'll give the more christian response first. The Garden of Eden and the fall of man account for all of these things. Man held in his grasp the very scenario you discuss, but betrayed God and is forced to live on this earth. That would be a reason for suffering within the Christian paradigm.

A more objective reason is one of comparability. Without suffering, it has been argued, people would not experience pleasure, or at least, not to the degree they do. For instance, when I look at my life compared to Bill Gates I am much less pleased than when I compare my situation with someone in Darfur.

As far as viruses and such, the above reason would apply, but the omnipotence of God could explain some type of long run benefit, like population control, just as an example.

NON BELIEF
1. There is a stipulation to this claim I will discuss below
2. granted based on omnipotence
3. Sounds like a selfish God, not at all like the compassionate one the New Testament describes. How do we know this is God's utmost desire?
4. Again, sounds like a selfish God that doesn't weigh consequences

FREE WILL
This applies to both of your arguements, so I addressed it here. There is a sense of lacking in ordering people to love you. Much in the same way, being loved by someone who has decided to love you independently of your own will for them to do so is much more valuable. Certainly, an omnipotent God would recognize this. Love requires free will. Any Christian teaching will tell you that it is not enough to simply acknowledge God's existence, but to love/worship him. Satan realizes God's existence, but certainly doesn't love him.

So, this begs the question, why doesn't God reveal himself to us and then let us determine whether or not to love him? This introduces the concept of faith. Faith steps outside the realm of reason. It takes a leap of faith in order to believe in God. According to Christian teachings, people who have enough faith in God's existence in order to take that leap and believe in him wholeheartedly are the ones worthy of his love etc. If God simply revealed himself to us, our relationship with him, though still subordinate, would turn to an ordinary one that we have with other people; deciding whether or not we like God based on his actions etc. Without revealing himself to us, he forces us to decide for ourselves whether or not to believe in him, creating a much more valuable relationship.

Thanks for posting this debate. Looking forward to hearing your reply.
Debate Round No. 1
TheSkeptic

Pro

First I wanna state that I am SO SORRY for the horrible looking text in my first Round. The thing is, this debate used to be a challenge to DATCMOTO (something like that). However, he declined it unfortunately. So then in my math class I surfed on my crappy Voyager and edited this debate by making it an open debate. Apparently, it changed the text of my argument - which led to the horrible pluses. I ask my audience to bear with me, as I hope this argument doesn't get stretched either.

I thank my opponent for coming from a much rare ideology when in this type of a debate. He may not think these arguments are strong, but he is sadly mistaken.

=====Counterarguments=====

1. Problem of Evil

>>>The Garden of Eden and the fall of man account for all of these things. Man held in his grasp the very scenario you discuss, but betrayed God and is forced to live on this earth. That would be a reason for suffering within the Christian paradigm.<<<

There are two major problems with citing the Garden of Eden as a reason. First - Adam and Eve both did not understand the concept of morality, of "good" and "bad". So even though they did something contrary to God's commands, they didn't know it was a "bad" thing to do. It's like a baby. When you first tell them to not do something, they will most definitely not heed your words. However, after a few times (depending on your parenting skills), they will eventually understand what you mean. So it's erroneous to put the blame on Adam and Eve if they are intuitively unaware of the concept of morality.

The second problem is that there is unreasonable punishment. If Adam and Eve did indeed sin, they would punish the sons? I'm sorry, but a punishment system that lashes out on the son for the wages of the father seems pretty cr*ppy to me. It's like saying your father murders someone and you get locked in jail.

>>>Without suffering, it has been argued, people would not experience pleasure, or at least, not to the degree they do. <<<

And how do you go about arguing that? No one has ever gone through life only feeling "positive" emotions or only feeling "negative" emotions. Actually, emotions are basically neurobiological processes. The absence of unfavorable emotions shouldn't negate the abundance of favorable emotions. Unless, of course, you can argue otherwise.

>>>For instance, when I look at my life compared to Bill Gates I am much less pleased than when I compare my situation with someone in Darfur.<<<

First, that's just different tastes. Maybe someone desperately wants to be rich - not everyone has the same tastes and outlooks on life.

Secondly, the transition from YOU --> B.G. only get's from moderate to a lot (unless your life is crap). Darfur is a totally different position. You can't enjoy simple things B.G. or you would enjoy. For example, you and B.G. have the same rights, you're surrounded with friends, you have a decent home and food, etc. While B.G. may be more extravagant, he shares the same rights as you. Darfur does not. Unless, of course, you value gaining money over possessing rights - which would be quite interesting.

>>>As far as viruses and such, the above reason would apply, but the omnipotence of God could explain some type of long run benefit, like population control, just as an example.<<<

Yes, it can be argued that the existence of natural disasters and disease can, in the long run, be used for helping many people. It can shape people's lives, etc. However, you state it's for POPULATION CONTROL? I'm sorry, this "perfect" God made it so that there are too many people so he had to kill some off? Are you sure this is the same "all-loving" god we are talking about?

Secondly, I'm sure that it's understood that God desires for increasing welfare for all. However, let's give an example of a baby with a fatal virus. This baby is only a few months born, and she unexpectedly contracts a deadly and currently incurable virus. There is nothing the hospital staff can do but to ease the pain as she slowly dies. The family will be torn apart, and friends will lament besides them. Sure, one can argue that in the long run this "somehow" benefits the family by strengthening their ties, desire to take care of siblings more, etc. However, where is the increased welfare for THAT BABY? Was her life thrown away simply to help others? So really, she is a pawn? There is NO net gain in her life from that virus - she got nothing out of it. A loving god wouldn't cruelly kill off people to make a few others stronger.

1. Non Belief

A. Free Will

>>>There is a sense of lacking in ordering people to love you.<<<

Why else did God create us? According to Christian teaching God became bored one day so he decided to create humans. He "gave them free will" to choose whether or not believe in him. Either you go to hell or you end up praising and loving him for eternity. Yeah - he wants people to praise him.

>>>Much in the same way, being loved by someone who has decided to love you independently of your own will for them to do so is much more valuable.<<<

So you're basically saying that since this love won't be as awesomely awesome as "free-will" love God should just put us all through a big test and have the losers burn in Hell forever? I'm sorry, was he supposed to be all-loving?

>>>Love requires free will.<<<

Ipse dixit. Prove it.

>>>It takes a leap of faith in order to believe in God. According to Christian teachings, people who have enough faith in God's existence in order to take that leap and believe in him wholeheartedly are the ones worthy of his love etc. If God simply revealed himself to us, our relationship with him, though still subordinate, would turn to an ordinary one that we have with other people; deciding whether or not we like God based on his actions etc. Without revealing himself to us, he forces us to decide for ourselves whether or not to believe in him, creating a much more valuable relationship.<<<

This is a fatal stab to Christian theology actually. You're saying that we need to make an ignorant leap of faith to be with God. He desires this "blind love". So are you saying that those who happen to miss out - to let reason rule their life and not silly dogma- should burn in Hell?

B. "granted based on omnipotence"

That is part of the definition of God in this debate. So yes, it is granted.

C. "Sounds like a selfish God, not at all like the compassionate one the New Testament describes. How do we know this is God's utmost desire?"

First, you are misperceiving the connotations of desire. It doesn't mean to say God is selfish (though in the Bible he has stated numerously that he IS a selfish God who destroys any other idols, etc.), but that there should be no greater want of his than for us, his people, to go to heaven. He "wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (I Tim. 2:4). If he can't have a logically conflicting desire, unless you prove it so. For instance, like saying God desires for X to happen over all men knowing the truth and being saved.

D. "Again, sounds like a selfish God that doesn't weigh consequences"

Again, don't confuse the connotations of desire.

=====Conclusion=====

My opponent's attempt to refute the problem of evil and argument from nonbelief (POE and ANB) are quite unsuccessful. He does not explain unnecessary suffering, punishing the sons for the wages of the father, the lack of understanding moral concepts, a desire trumping free will, and the fallibility of faith.
SuperPerfundo

Con

SuperPerfundo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
TheSkeptic

Pro

I know the horrible formatting is unbearable to read, but my opponent's forfeit should show the obvious winner.
SuperPerfundo

Con

SuperPerfundo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
I know this is late, but I came across this debate, read it, and decided to vote.

Conduct: Pro -- con forfeited multiple times. Lame.

Spelling and grammar: Con. Pro's round one was illegible, though through little fault of his.

Arguments: Pro. Do I even need to explain why? His arguments weren't rebutted due to the forfeits.

Sources: Meh, tied.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Ah crap. I initially challenged DATCMOTO (something like that) but he declined this debate. I didn't realize this until I was websurfing on the Voyager; which, by the way, has a crappy internet interface. So I edited the debate to be an open challenge and it seems that it edited the texts :(

I am so sorry for anyone ATTEMPTING to read this debate. I'll try to do my best.
Posted by DiablosChaosBroker 8 years ago
DiablosChaosBroker
"God+exists,+then+why+does+evil+and+suffering+exist+in+the+world?+Christians+commonly+use+free+will+as+an+excuse+for+the+evil+in+the+world.+But+then,+the+burden+is+placed+on+my+opponent+to+show+why+God+would+prefer+us+having+free+will+rather+than+us+not+having+free+will,+or+having+free+will+with+moral+perfection.+Secondly,+the+Christian+has+to+somehow+account+for+natural+disasters+that+cause+millions+of+deaths,+tons+of+parasites+that+feed+on+humans,+and+of+course+bacteria+and+viruses.+While+some+bacterias+and+viruses+are+human-made+or+proliferated,+it's+foolish+to+say+every+virus+and+bacteria+does.+So+what+of+the+virus+that+kills+an+infant+in+4+months?+2.+Argument+from+Non-Belief I+will+paste+the+syllogism+that+Theodore+Drange[1]+formulated,+based+on+J.L.+Schellenberg's+original+formation+of+this+argument: 1.+If+God+exists,+God: 1.+wants+all+humans+to+believe+God+exists+before+they+die; 2.+can+bring+about+a+situation+in+which+all+humans+believe+God+exists+before+they+die; 3.+does+not+want+anything+that+would+conflict+with+and+be+at+least+as+important+as+its+desire+for+all+humans+to+believe+God+exists+before+they+die;+and 4.+always+acts+in+accordance+with+what+it+most+wants. 2.+If+God+exists,+all+humans+would+believe+so+before+they+die+(from+1). 3.+But+not+all+humans+believe+God+exists+before+they+die. 4.+Therefore,+God+does+not+exist+(from+2+and+3). =====Conclusion===== With+both+my+arguments+laid+out,+I+await+my+opponent's+rebuttal.+---References--- 1.+http://www.infidels.org...;

What did you do THIS time?
Posted by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
Yikes! What's with the all the pluses? It's unreadable in Firefox.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 8 months ago
dsjpk5
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