The Instigator
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
Nail_Bat
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points

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

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: 2/16/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,592 times Debate No: 6852
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

TheSkeptic

Pro

*NOTE* - The "1C" 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 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...
Nail_Bat

Con

Right off the bat, let's establish what omnipotence really means. God can be incapable of doing the logically impossible and still be omnipotent.

Argument 1A - Why does God allow people to do evil?

Usually, "free will" is considered to be a perfectly cromulent answer to the apparent contradiction in the Argument from Evil. My opponent, however, has embiggened this argument by asking me to explain why God would even want us to have free will in the first place. You can sweep this problem under the rug entirely by saying its impossible to psychoanalyze God; you can't exactly sit him down on the couch and ask him about his mother. Nonetheless, I'll present an argument anyway.

According to the Christian faith, man was made in God's image. I'm going to expand that to say that God imbibed man with "lite" versions of his divine qualities: where God is all loving, man is loving of his neighbor as long as his neighbor doesn't have a nicer lawn, where god is all knowing, man is capable of unlocking the secrets of the cosmos, but he still thinks that electrolytes are what plants crave, where god is all powerful, man is able to shape the world as he sees fit, but only as far as his frail pink limbs will take him. Nonetheless, compared to the other living denizens of Earth, we're the benevolentest, knowingest, potentest creatures around.

Particularly, we'll focus on "the power to do what one wills", something that makes little sense if the being in question doesn't even have a will to begin with. Thus, humans have free will because it is a divine quality of God, and we are made in God's image. I won't touch on "free will with moral perfection", since that's sort of like Henry Ford saying "You can have any color you want, as long as its black". Nor will I attempt to explain WHY God wants us to have been made in his image, but he went through the trouble of doing it so it must have meant something to the guy.

Argument 1B - Why does God allow natural disasters?

Because mountains have free will too, you know. This doesn't have much to do with the argument from evil, but it is a worthwhile argument, probably more so than the first one. We can rephrase the question as "Why doesn't God intervene more often?" True, God doesn't seem to really interact with the world at a personal level much these days, aside from occasionally helping someone find his car keys, making your team win in the playoffs, or helping an actress win an academy award (assuming the devil isn't too busy to do that himself). Instead, it seems most of the world follows dependable laws that don't appear to require any divine intervention once the pieces are set in motion to begin with. So, why would God want it this way?

I believe that the highest criteria in designing a system is "elegance". You'll see that word pop up in science and mathematics circles from time to time, basically it is the power of a system divided by its complexity. An elegant system is thus one that is both powerful and simple. It is certainly within God's ability to personally push each particle around according to his own will, without any overall pattern to their motion. However, this would be micromanagement at the most epic scale. Instead, what God did was to create the "ultimate formula", a law from which all other laws of nature ultimately derive. The most ideal system would not require God to personally intervene much at all. With this in mind, we can ask "Is it logically possible for God to have designed an Earth in which there are no environmental disasters, plagues, or any such other form of suffering?" If you take the stance that he could have, then the argument holds some water.

"Okay, so I can't expect God to make every aspect of life perfect for me. But couldn't God at least just stop the worst disasters?"

"Worst" is a relative term, of course. Presumably, God gave us the ability to feel pain for a reason, so short of pumping endorphins into our brains 24 hours a day, there would always be room for God to eliminate the "worst" suffering. Let's ask this question though, does the suffering we experience on Earth matter, knowing that for the low, low price of believing in God you can spend eternity in paradise? Eternity is a pretty long time. So long that if you were to spend the entire duration of the known universe with a car battery attached to your genitals, the pain you'd suffer would still be infinitesimal compared to the eternity of joy you'd experience.

Argument 2 - Why does God allow non-believers?

I'll agree that having us humans believe in God is rather important to him. It must be, considering that according to the Christian religion you can rape clowns for a living and still get into Heaven as long as you make sure to let God into your life at some point before you die (presumably the clown rape stops at that point). Whether is it the most important thing, trumping every other will God has, is not necessarily a given.

Let's take the analogy of a teacher. She wants her students to get the highest grade on the test. If this teacher had no limits to her authority, she could simply write "100%" on every student's exam, or give the students the answers, or provide only a single answer choice for each question. Heck, she could even pry into their brains and just implant the memories herself. This would be illogical though, because getting a high grade is merely an indicator of what the teacher actually wants, which is for each student to make the effort to understand the material and demonstrate this ability on the exam.

Likewise, believing in God is also an indicator: that despite life being sometimes unbearable, and despite a plethora of temptations surrounding us, that we can nonetheless choose to love God more than anything else. This becomes entirely meaningless if God rearranges every particle in the cosmos to do this for us.
Debate Round No. 1
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. Also, I want to say that I agree with my opponent's sentiments: omnipotence does not mean God can do logically impossible things.

=====Counterarguments=====

1. Argument from Evil

>>>You can sweep this problem under the rug entirely by saying its impossible to psychoanalyze God; you can't exactly sit him down on the couch and ask him about his mother.<<<
---->Which would then mean a Christian can't say God would want for humans to have free will, thus neutralizing their argument. So yes, gladly, you didn't argue this.

1A. Free Will.

My opponent's argument for justifying free will is, quite simply, not justification at all. He first proceeds to demonstrate that we are inferior versions of God - we have morality, power, and knowledge. However, he just because we can be nice to people, learn about the truth of things, and have technology as our tool of power doesn't mean we are some bastardized version of God. We eat to survive and have sex for reproduction and pleasure - does God do the same then? My opponent arbitrarily chooses traits and qualities of humans that God conveniently shares, and then tries to conclude that God must have bestowed upon us these qualities.

Secondly, even if it was true that God bestowed upon us a "lite" version of his qualities, my opponent has yet to justify why God prefer for us to have free will rather than NOT. To simply say that he gave it to us because he wanted to would be saying God is irrational - which I doubt you are claiming. If we perceive God to be rational, then we must conclude that if he existed and gave us free will, he would have a good reason to. In fact, his desire for us to have free will would OVERRULE the existence of potential evil that springs from free will. My opponent hasn't stated what this is, or what this could be, so until then my argument stands.

1B. Natural Evils

>>>Presumably, God gave us the ability to feel pain for a reason, so short of pumping endorphins into our brains 24 hours a day, there would always be room for God to eliminate the "worst" suffering.<<<

My opponent fails to give the reason for why God would want us to experience these worst of natural disasters. My opponent has stated before that it is possible the universe could have been created with an ultimate formula which excluded natural disasters. I agree with this. Unless my opponent can show how it's logically impossible for God to create a universe without natural disasters, then we can move on from this.

My opponent hasn't shown why God would want us to suffer from these natural disasters. Many times, Christians would justify suffering by saying it helps us in the long run, it's a test, etc. However, what possible benefit can you gain from getting killed in a tornado? What possible benefit does a baby get from contracting a fatal virus only 3 months after it's birth? There could be benefits for the parents (they grow stronger in Christ, etc.) but not for the BABY or whatever person is the victim in this situation.

Hilariously, my opponent states that the suffering on this world does not compare to eternal life. True, but does this mean God can make us suffer with no good reason? That's like me saying I can rape you and tell you heaven will be eternal - so just suck it up. DANG, if this was true I'd be having a hay day with Christian girls. Seriously, just because infinity is longer than our time on Earth, doesn't mean unnecessary suffering is moral. UNLESS, my opponent can rationalize the existence of natural evils, which he has YET to do.

2. Argument from Non-Belief

The analogy of the teacher, and for most real life counterparts, is erroneous. The point of teaching is to inform and educate children. If a teacher were to easily give you passing scores, then it ruins the point of teaching all together (unless you are a fabulous teacher who hates tests).

My opponent essentially uses the Free Will Defense (FWD), which is quite common and I'm not surprised. However, I will give several rebuttals to this defense:

A. Revealing knowledge to someone does not hinder their free will. Otherwise, our free will would supposedly be "violated" every single day. In fact, wouldn't it be part of our will to have our beliefs confirmed or for truth to be revealed?

B. Many occurrences in the Bible show that free will doesn't seem to be a major thing. For example, Jesus doing miracles. In the Bible this has happened many times, with the result of many people coming to believe in him. So what now?

=====Conclusion=====

My opponent fails to account for both arguments, so vote for PRO.
Nail_Bat

Con

It doesn't get said enough that debates are like fractals. We can focus on any one point and have a discussion just as detailed as the one we're having now. One can't claim victory just because his opponent has not tunneled down far enough in his arguments.

Instead, I will shift the focus to the two most important questions that my opponent is demanding I answer: Is God justified in wanting us to have free will, and why doesn't God do more to reduce suffering? Ultimately if these two questions are addressed, every other point falls into place.

According to my opponent, there must be a rational basis for God's will. If he does something for no raisin, then he is irrational. God can not be irrational, so if giving humans free will has no rational basis then God can not exist.

What qualifies as a "rational basis"? The most common is that one wills X because X leads to Y, and one wills Y. Another is that one wills X because failure to do X would lead to one's nonexistence.

The first definition is circular, and the second does not apply to God since he is incapable of not existing. Unlike people who have to work for a living, there is nothing to stop God from sitting on his cosmic *** all day. However, there is a third definition, one wills X….just because. I am certain my opponent would not consider this to be a valid justification, and in most cases he'd be right.

Some of these "just because" wills, however, are a lot like the axioms of a formal system. In formal logic, it is tempting to believe that any logical statement can be reached purely from the law of non-contradiction. If you believe this, there's this delightful chap named Kurt that I'd like you to meet. Axioms are not derived from any truth, but instead form the foundation of a system from which other statements can be derived.

Likewise, axiomatic wills form the foundation from which all of God's other wills ultimately derive. They are what make the Christian God, one logically possible omnieverything being, different other omnieverything beings of other religions. It is actually absurd to argue that God can not have axiomatic wills.

With this in mind, we can ask "Is God's desire for us to have free will an axiomatic will?" You could certainly make the case that it is: free will permeates every aspect of the Christian faith. The entire system of original sin and salvation is centered on it.

However, I gave an alternate explanation, that free will is a necessary consequence of what may be the axiomatic will for God to have made man in his own image. (I'd suggest that my opponent think over my previous argument a little more before claiming that I just "picked 3 traits that God and humans happen to share").

If these are not satisfactory justifications of free will, my opponent will have to lay out the rules for what does and doesn't quality as a valid explanation.

The second question, "Why doesn't God do more to reduce suffering?" was answered in my last argument, so this will simply be a recap. I do not try to be obscure but its clear my original message did not entirely get through.

It may or it may not be possible for God to have devised a formula which results in a universe where there are no natural disasters. It is completely impossible to argue one or the other, therefore if my opponent's argument depends on God being able to do this but unwilling to, then he must add that as a qualifier to his argument.

As long as there is suffering, there is "the worse suffering". Therefore, if God were to stop earthquakes, floods, plagues, and other such major catastrophes, then our perception of what the worst suffering is would change. In another universe, you'd be asking "Well if God is so loving, then why does he allow the agonizing pain of stubbing your toe?". Who knows, perhaps the universe just happens to produce Killer Laser Bees, the ultimate in aerial pain delivery, but we never noticed them because God is nice enough to keep them away from us.

Therefore, the only possible world in which one can NOT make this claim is one where there is no suffering. Pain, however, is a biological necessity. To eliminate pain would require a micro-managed universe, and this violates the principle of elegance (which I'm taking to be an axiomatic will. We could argue this all day but let's not stray too far from the original points). This would be absurd anyway, because in no way does the statement "God loves Man" imply "God must maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain of Man".

Let's back up though. "Fine fine fine, but why would God just LET earthquakes happen? I can understand the need for pain but hasn't God gone too far in how much pain we can feel?" The problem with this is, again, there is no unambiguous definition for what the appropriate amount of pain is. However, I addressed this anyway by bringing up the fact that God will give you an eternity of peace. How long is eternity? So long that the duration of the known universe, times 9 raised power of 9, 9999 times, times the number of possible games of Go, times the number of subatomic particles in the universe, times the number of Turing machines that halt on or before 1000 steps on a blank tape, is still infinitesimal compared to eternity. Therefore, ANY amount of suffering we feel on Earth is immaterial. Yes, that even involves being raped by a gorilla. For a fricktillion years. It doesn't mean there's any real reason to go to your local zoo and seduce the primates there, only that the suffering you'd feel would be nothing compared to the joy of Heaven.

Finally, I will quickly do away with my opponent's argument that God has no justification in keeping himself hidden, since revealing himself would not dampen our free will and thus wouldn't effect our ability to choose whether or not to accept him as a savior. My answer is yes. Yes it would. Majorly so. It would change the entire dynamic of the salvation system. If this is really not obvious to my opponent, I will explain it in further detail in the last round, but it seems very clear to me. Of course savalation hadn't even been implemented before the crucifixion so I'm not sure why he's bringing up Jesus' miracles as a counterexample.

I would also ask my opponent to read over my "teacher analogy" again. He is making a common logical fallacy that any analogy must be wrong if there is some fundemental difference between the analogy and the actual application of it. The take home point was that a will can be foundational (an axiomatic will), or an indicator of another will. Hence, a teacher may want her students to score well on the test, but this is not a foundational will. I'm actually not entirely sure why my opponent was confused by this.
Debate Round No. 2
TheSkeptic

Pro

>>>...I will shift the focus to the two most important questions that my opponent is demanding I answer: Is God justified in wanting us to have free will, and why doesn't God do more to reduce suffering?<<<

Agreed, since my opponent's argument focus on the FWD, I will refute his attempts at justifying the defense.

=====Counterarguments=====

>>>What qualifies as a "rational basis"?<<<

It's quite obvious. One, in this case God, must make decisions with adequate reasons. God isn't irrational, and wouldn't do things on a "whim".

>>>Axioms are not derived from any truth, but instead form the foundation of a system from which other statements can be derived.<<<

All of logic trace back to the Law of Identity, or that A=A. This is because logic is supposed to reflect reality, and reality behaves consistently. There are only three identified axioms: Law of Identity, Consciousness, and that Existence Exists. An axiom is something we can't deny, because denying it would be using it's truth in the process of denying it. That's important to note when we come to what you call an "axiomatic will".

>>>With this in mind, we can ask "Is God's desire for us to have free will an axiomatic will?" You could certainly make the case that it is: free will permeates every aspect of the Christian faith. The entire system of original sin and salvation is centered on it...However, I gave an alternate explanation, that free will is a necessary consequence of what may be the axiomatic will for God to have made man in his own image.<<<

Yes, it can be seen that free will is a MAJOR foundation of the Christian theology. Concepts such as sin and salvation do center on it. However, do call free will an axiom is to abuse this term. An axiom is something we can't deny without at the same time using it's truth in the process. While free will may seem to be a major part of Christian theology, it's not a necessity. Just look at Calvinists.

Secondly, you have no evidence or justified reason to believe that it was God's "axiomatic will" to make us in his image but in a "lite" version. An assertion at best.

Thirdly, if free will is supposed to be something that can never be denied (the whole axiomatic will thing), then you have yet to rebuttal one of my arguments. It's been seen so many times in the Bible where God DOES interfere with free will. He kills entire towns, this conflicts with the free will of people (i.e. they want to LIVE).

>>>It may or it may not be possible for God to have devised a formula which results in a universe where there are no natural disasters. It is completely impossible to argue one or the other, therefore if my opponent's argument depends on God being able to do this but unwilling to, then he must add that as a qualifier to his argument.<<<

Either it is logically impossible, which you have not shown, or God does not desire for unnecessary suffering to go away, which you have not shown. Either those two, or you can attempt to argue that natural disasters are not unnecessary suffering, which you have also failed to do.

>>>As long as there is suffering, there is "the worse suffering".<<<

But there is something called UNNECESSARY suffering.

>>>Therefore, if God were to stop earthquakes, floods, plagues, and other such major catastrophes, then our perception of what the worst suffering is would change.<<<

Indeed, but in another world where there aren't any ND (natural disasters), will the total sum of suffering be less than the total suffering we would have in world WITH ND? In fact, can't God make it so that our perception of suffering would NOT change if ND's were to disappear? This world can definitely be actualized by God.

>>>Pain, however, is a biological necessity.<<<

A biological necessity is hardly a trouble for an omnipotent and omniscient being. Air is a biological necessity, but God can change that. Water is a biological necessity, but God can do away with that also. In place of pain God can simply leave the same auto response we have to pain, but remove the qualia or "subjective experience" of pain.

>>>To eliminate pain would require a micro-managed universe, and this violates the principle of elegance (which I'm taking to be an axiomatic will.<<<

To eliminate would not require a micro-managed universe for an omnipotent being, as would eliminating the need for water or air. The "principle of elegance" is hardly a principle at all. Something being elegant is only aesthetically pleasing.

>>>...in no way does the statement "God loves Man" imply "God must maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain of Man".<<<

Yes it would, unless you can show that God has another desire that trumps "maximizing and minimizing the pain of Man". You attempt to use the free will defense, and I am refuting it.

>>>The problem with this is, again, there is no unambiguous definition for what the appropriate amount of pain is.<<<

Anything that is not unnecessary.

>>>...only that the suffering you'd feel would be nothing compared to the joy of Heaven.<<<

I have refuted this argument, so I'm afraid I have to repeat myself. You bizarrely attempt to justify unnecessary suffering by saying the suffering we feel on this Earth isn't much compared to the pleasure in Heaven. This is ludicrous. Take an example of a father beating his son:

Let's label X as an appropriate amount of suffering. If a father were to beat his son with X pain, and his son were to become disciplined and successful in life from it, then would we say that was the right thing? Yes, because the father had to teach his child. Now, in another family let's say a father beats his child also, but with X+1 pain. His son ALSO becomes disciplined and successful, but was the beating necessary? Not quite, since the extra amount of suffering was not needed. Apply this analogy to God. He does NOT need to give us unnecessary suffering.

>>>Of course savalation hadn't even been implemented before the crucifixion so I'm not sure why he's bringing up Jesus' miracles as a counterexample.<<<

The Bible has shown many instances of God interfering with free will to make people have certain beliefs. The examples should be plenty, with cities being destroyed to people being spoken by God.

Obviously rational and sincere disbelief occurs (unless my opponent says otherwise, which is quite the burden to uphold). So even if God were to interfere in our free will if he were to expose the truth, then this still does not seem as an adequate reason to presuppose he values free will over our welfare and salvation. We as a people would benefit from this revelation; that we not only have salvation but that it will grant us comfort and hope. My opponent has not shown why God would refrain from doing such.

In addition, there are many obstacles to free will in our present world (famine, mental retardation, grave diseases, premature death, etc.) and God does little or nothing to prevent them.

>>>He is making a common logical fallacy that any analogy must be wrong if there is some fundemental difference between the analogy and the actual application of it.<<<

It's a fallacy when an analogy is fundamentally different from what you're trying to compare it to? No. Trivial differences, yes those don't matter. But fundamental differences don't.

>>>...a will can be foundational (an axiomatic will), or an indicator of another will. Hence, a teacher may want her students to score well on the test, but this is not a foundational will.<<<

The analogy fails because if the teacher gave everyone 100%, she realizes that in the end the net benefit would probably be less if they actually studied and took the test (they would get smarter, more educated, etc.). You have not shown how God interfering with free will is bad (refer to my other response with God interfering with free will).

=====Conclusion=====

It's been great debating my opponent, but his FWD fail
Nail_Bat

Con

I was afraid my opponent would miss the deadline, but it looks like he came by just in the nick of time. Unfortunately, we have reached the "infinite loop" part of the debate, so its a good thing this is the last round.

The word of the day is "axiom". This is where all of our disagreements come from. When I was talking about axioms, I specifically mentioned that certain beliefs are like "axioms of a formal system", for the very purpose of making sure my opponent didn't think that when I said axiom I meant "something we can't deny because denying it would require we accept it to be true". An axiom in the sense I'm using is a statement who's truth value can not be determined from any other set of axioms. A set of axioms defines a "system", and within this system, one can generate many propositions by taking those axioms and combining them to form theorems. It's a simple concept, but extraordinarily important to understand.

No statement can be true or false on its own, it can only be true or false within a system (or what you might call a context). Whether 2+2 equals 4, 22, or 11 depends on the system we are using. Sometimes we don't even know whether or not a statement follows from any other axioms, and sometimes we can actually prove that it doesn't.

My opponent's problem is that he essentially does not believe in any axioms other than A=A. He believes that, given enough time, one can break any logical statement down into applications of the law of identity. I can't blame him for believing this, I believed it with all my heart when I was younger, and the most brilliant minds in philosophy and mathematics believed it up until the 20th century. I would implore my opponent to try and derive the "Argument from Evil" from the law of identity and elementary logical operations. He believes this can be done, but if he were to actually try it, he'd find it to be a much more formidable challenge than he expected.

Whether my opponent realizes it or not, his argument depends on many axioms. Thus, a person who doesn't believe in these axioms will not be convinced.

Now a brief lightning round:

>>>A rational basis means having adequate reasons.
This definition is circular.

>>> All of logic trace back to the Law of Identity, or that A=A.
Well, if you believe this, don't ever study formal logic. Your head might asplode.

>>to call free will an axiom is to abuse this term. An axiom is something we can't deny without at the same time using it's truth in the process.
Already discussed.

>>>While free will may seem to be a major part of Christian theology, it's not a necessity….. It's been seen so many times in the Bible where God DOES interfere with free will. He kills entire towns, this conflicts with the free will of people

Free will doesn't mean the ability to do whatever one wills. That's omnipotence.

>>>Secondly, you have no evidence or justified reason to believe that it was God's "axiomatic will" to make us in his image but in a "lite" version. An assertion at best.

I told you this was a proposed axiom, which we could debate in more detail except that it would take as much time as this debate we're having here. My job isn't to prove that God exists but to prove that there is are plausible scenarios where your argument doesn't apply.

>> Either it is logically impossible [to create a world without natural disasters], which you have not shown, or God does not desire for unnecessary suffering to go away, which you have not shown. Either those two, or you can attempt to argue that natural disasters are not unnecessary suffering, which you have also failed to do.

I have already stated that it is impossible to prove whether or not God could make a world without natural disasters. If my opponent's argument depends on this, then it must be added as a premise to the argument.

My opponent believes that God desires a micro-managed universe. We can rationally argue that he doesn't because the universe is NOT micro-managed, things happen according to natural laws and God doesn't seem to have any desire to come along and magically make everything perfect through direct intervention. The reason must be that God follows the "Principle of Elegance". He set up the rules of the system and let the system run on its own, intervening only at key points and otherwise letting humanity decide the course of its destiny. If you take my opponent's arguments to their logical conclusion, the very fact that nature operates by laws and not direct intervention is itself irrational!

All of my opponent's arguments hinge on the assumption that "God loves Man" implies "God must maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain of man", which my opponent has whole heartedly admitted. In no way does that conclusion follow from that premise. Love involves a whole lot more than just making someone happy. If happiness was all God desired, why give us bodies at all? Why not just create conscious entities that simply feel the maximum amount of pleasure constantly? This situation should sound absolutely absurd to any thinking person.

My opponent also believes that suffering is a scalar quantity, when it is actually relative. "X+1 pain" is a completely absurd idea.

Finally, I'll return to the teacher analogy, where it seems my opponent DOES understand the point of it, but doesn't realize it for some strange reason. Yes, it would be absurd for a teacher to simply give everyone 100, despite her desire for everyone to score well, because that desire is simply a derivative of the more foundational desire for her students to learn. This my opponent understands completely. The application of the analogy is that a teacher giving her students 100 would be like God making humans believe in him. Someone my opponent couldn't make that connection.

In conclusion, my opponent is clearly very intelligent for his age but he has a ways to go (as does everyone else). One day, his belief that all logical statements must follow from A=A will come crashing down, as it did for me. I only hope that I can pry my opponent's mind open a little more and show him there is a whole lot more to reason than he thinks.

There are rational theists, who could school both me and you when it comes to logic, and there are rational atheists who can do the same. Is one of these groups simply being illogical, too blind to understand the truth of their opponent's arguments? Hardly!
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Nail_Bat 8 years ago
Nail_Bat
Oops, sorry Chestertonian, didn't see that you were interested. I actually really do want to argue the validity of the "argument from evil". I'm going to post my argument tonight.

I'll let you have the next one.
Posted by DiablosChaosBroker 8 years ago
DiablosChaosBroker
What about me? Don't I get this challenge? I feel left out. :S
Posted by Chestertonian 8 years ago
Chestertonian
Yeah. That's better. We'll see how I am on time this weekend.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
If you have no time - no problem.
Is the resolution better?
Posted by Chestertonian 8 years ago
Chestertonian
I'm considering taking this, but I don't know.

A) I'm not really sure that I have time to debate this.
B) The phrasing of the topic not only requires me to rebut your claims, but also put forth claims of my own...
C) Which I doubt I could find the space to do even if I had the whole 8,000 characters at my disposal.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Mixer 7 years ago
Mixer
TheSkepticNail_BatTied
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 TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
TheSkepticNail_BatTied
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 Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by DictatorIsaac 7 years ago
DictatorIsaac
TheSkepticNail_BatTied
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 Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
TheSkepticNail_BatTied
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 rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
TheSkepticNail_BatTied
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:07