The Instigator
izbo10
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
KRFournier
Con (against)
Winning
40 Points

To use faith as your reasoning for one specific god is irrational.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,929 times Debate No: 17057
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (63)
Votes (8)

 

izbo10

Pro

Rules:

In this debate my opponent will have to show that it is logical to put faith in a specific god, I will show it is illogical. This debate is not about arguments for god, but when somebody reverts back to saying, you just have to have faith, that, that very statement makes it illogical. This debate applies to a person who places faith in one god, persay the christian god or the islamic god.

Argument:

When a peson says that you just have to have fait it is committing the fallacy of special pleading. (http://www.fallacyfiles.org...) The person is granting faith to their god while denying faith for any other god or supernatural being. For instance you often hear a christian revert back to well you just have to have faith in Jesus, when all their arguments have been beaten. Yet, they don't just have faith in Allah.

Now in order to understand that this is illogical we must know that being illogical is to use fallacious thinking or reasoning. Since Special pleading is a fallacy that makes it fallacious thinking therefore since I have demonstrated that saying you just have to have faith is fallicious thinking, the person is admitting to being illogical. To be rational is to use logic for your reasoing since I have shown that the person is not using logic,but instead be illogical, the person is also being irrational.

KRFournier

Con

Introduction

My opponent declares that appealing to faith when committing to the reality of God, regardless of religious affiliation, is irrational and fallacious. I intend to show that, quite to the contrary, reasoning from faith is far from special pleading. First, I will present some definitions

Faith: 1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. 2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.1

Reasoning: 1. Use of reason, especially to form conclusions, inferences, or judgments. 2. Evidence or arguments used in thinking or argumentation.2

Argument

How do we know something is indeed true? We back it up with another known truth. Furthermore, that other known truth must also be backed up with yet another known truth, and so on. This is what philosophers call the infinite regression problem, and here it is in syllogism form:

  1. Suppose that P is some piece of knowledge. Then P is a justified true belief.
  2. The only thing that can justify P is another statement – let's call it P1; so P1 justifies P.
  3. But if P1 is to be a satisfactory justification for P, then we must know that P1.
  4. But for P1 to be known, it must also be a justified true belief.
  5. That justification will be another statement - let's call it P2; so P2 justifies P1.
  6. But if P2 is to be a satisfactory justification for P1, then we must know that P2
  7. But for P2 to count as knowledge, it must itself be a justified true belief.
  8. That justification will in turn be another statement - let's call it P3; so P3 justifies P2.
  9. and so on, ad infinitum.

Being that humans are finite in their capacity to do anything, which includes reasoning, the only way to resolve the regression is to allow it to come to a stopping point. That is to say, at some point, we choose to believe in a truth without justifying. That is, we take it on faith. Let's look at several approaches to resolving the regress problem to see if they can avoid the problem of faith.

1. Foundationalism3

Foundationalism is perhaps the most straight forward solution. It simply asserts that all justified true beliefs will ultimately be justified by basic beliefs, or presuppositions. These basic beliefs are not justified, but assumed, without logical proof or material evidence, i.e., faith. Thus, foundationalism solves the problem by explicitly relying on faith.

2. Coherentism3

Coherentism attempts to solve the problem by allowing justified true beliefs to ultimately be justified by themselves. At first glance, this appears to be begging the question, and indeed, circular reasoning is the whole point. Coherentists would say that so long as a system of belief is internally consistent, then the beliefs therein constitute knowledge.

However, the problem of faith remains. Coherentism replaces a foundation of unproven beliefs with an unproven system of belief. It is quite possible to have a set of beliefs that all cohere quite well together but are all untrue. Therefore, acceptance of any coherent system implies faith in that system as a whole, so Coherentism relies on faith as well.

3. Reliabilism4

Reliabilism attempts to solve the problem by changing the mode of justification altogether. Instead of a belief being justified by another justified true belief, the reliabilist argues that a belief is justified if it is formed using a reliable belief-formation mechanism.

The obvious problem is: how do we know what is reliable and what is not reliable. In short, the reliability of belief-formation mechanisms themselves are beliefs and must be themselves justified. In short, reliabilism does not solve the problem as much as dress it different clothes. The same regress problem presents itself albeit with different wording. Each reliability mechanism must be justified by another reliability mechanism ad infinitum. The only solution is to accept one's reliability measurements on faith.

4. Infinitism3

Infinitism simply acknowledges the regress problem and makes no effort to resolve it, arguing instead that there will never be adequate justification for knowledge. The problem with infinitism is that it has no practical application. If employed in debate, it will either lead to skepticism or be subconsciously abandoned. Either way, the infinitist will turn to faith.

In the case of skepticism, the infinitist will insist that nothing can be known. But how can the skeptic know that nothing can be known. Skeptcism is ultimately self-refuting, since it can only be true if it is false. Therefore, commitment to skepticism requires faith.

The infinist who rejects skepticism is in a philosophical bind also, since simultaneously rejecting skepticism and acknowledging the regress problem is logically incompatible. Therefore, the infinist will have to rely, consciously or subconsciously, on one of the other solutions to the regress problem. Since I have already shown the other solutions to rely on faith, skepticism-free infinitism relies on faith also.

Conclusion

All this is to say, humans rely on faith in all their reasoning. So, whether one is committed to Christianity or atheism, they are reasoning from faith. To put it succinctly, to use faith as one's reasoning for one specific god is not irrational. It's inevitable.

Thank you.

Sources

  1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
  2. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  4. http://www.theoryofknowledge.info...
Debate Round No. 1
izbo10

Pro

My opponent in his opening round has failed to address the actual topic, instead he has attempted to attack alternate options, He has not attempted to show that belief in a specific god is rational. He completely ignored the part about SPECIFIC god. Instead he has attempted presuppositional apologetics. While presuppositional apologetics may be fun to debate it is a argument ad absurdum based on a false dichotomy. To attack other options as irrational does nothing. Imagine that you had to pick with combination of lottery balls is going to come out, it is irrational to believe with any certainty that any combination will come out with any certainty. To attempt to argue that one is rational because the other are irrational is ridiculous.

Now my opponent in order to understand rational versus irrational has to do with what falls under logic. In this debate logic must be a properly basic or foundational belief. In order to take this debate about being rational you must accept logic. Since we have accepted logic, then we must accept the logical construct of Occam's razor, and since god is a lot of baggage without any evidence it is better to not start with that baggage then to start with it.


A completely different way to look at it is like this there are at least this many options: thor, zues, Yahwey(jewish), Yeshua(christian), allah(islam), dionysus, fly spagetti monster, and the invisible pink unicorn. Being my opponent has provided no evidence for any the odds of any given one being rignt if those are the only options( they are not) is 1 in 8 or 12.5 %. So believe an individual god on those options alone is irrational.

KRFournier

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate, though I am a little disappointed to see it get derailed.

Rebuttal

My opponent in his opening round has failed to address the actual topic, instead he has attempted to attack alternate options, He has not attempted to show that belief in a specific god is rational.

I am not burdened to show that belief in God is rational. According to the resolution, I am burdened to show that using faith as one's reasoning for believing in God is rational. Using epistemological analysis, I gave a thorough argument as to why it is rational. It's rational to use faith because, in the final analysis, faith is used in all our reasoning.

He completely ignored the part about SPECIFIC god. Instead he has attempted presuppositional apologetics. While presuppositional apologetics may be fun to debate it is a argument ad absurdum based on a false dichotomy.

In your own words, "In this debate my opponent will have to show that it is logical to put faith in a specific god." That's what I did. I am not arguing that God exists in this debate because that's not what you demanded of me. You demanded that I show logical congruity when it comes to using faith as reasoning in believing in a specific God. I chose to use a philosophical argument regarding the nature of knowledge. You have falsely attributed to me an argument I never made.

To attack other options as irrational does nothing. Imagine that you had to pick with combination of lottery balls is going to come out, it is irrational to believe with any certainty that any combination will come out with any certainty. To attempt to argue that one is rational because the other are irrational is ridiculous.

This is a red herring. I made no such argument about "other options."

Now my opponent in order to understand rational versus irrational has to do with what falls under logic. In this debate logic must be a properly basic or foundational belief. In order to take this debate about being rational you must accept logic.

According to the tripartite theory of knowledge, we know something if it is true, believed, and justified. You just asked me to accept logic as a foundational belief, to which I will gladly do. That is to say, you just argued that logic does not need to be justified, i.e., it should be accepted as true without justification. This is faith. That's the thrust of my argument. That one's belief in God—or anything for that matter—can be rationally based on faith. Whether they are right or wrong is irrelevant. You asked me to show that using faith to believe in God is rational. If we can rationally use faith as a basis for accepting logic, then one can rationally use faith to reason to God.

Since we have accepted logic, then we must accept the logical construct of Occam's razor, and since god is a lot of baggage without any evidence it is better to not start with that baggage then to start with it.

Occam's razor has nothing to with this debate. My opponent is moving the goal posts. Both his opening round and the debate title explicitly state that I am to show that it is logical to use faith as a basis for accepting God.

A completely different way to look at it is like this there are at least this many options: thor, zues, Yahwey(jewish), Yeshua(christian), allah(islam), dionysus, fly spagetti monster, and the invisible pink unicorn. Being my opponent has provided no evidence for any the odds of any given one being rignt if those are the only options( they are not) is 1 in 8 or 12.5 %. So believe an individual god on those options alone is irrational.

Once again, my opponent is arguing some other debate. I am arguing that it is logically coherent to use faith as a basis for reasoning to any one of these eight options. Obviously, some or all of these options might be false, but that's not the issue. The issue is, even if someone uses faith to reason to the existence of the flying spaghetti monster, they are logically valid in doing so because, according to my argument, it is impossible to reason from anything but faith.

Conclusion

My opponent has pulled the good old bait-and-switch in order to win. I ask the readers to reread the debate resolution title and the opening statements of my opponent. In round one, he argued that using faith when reasoning about God was fallacious. I countered that claim, and now he's acting like I'm supposed to defend the very existence of the Christian God over and above all other deities.

Allow me to reiterate my thesis: the resolution is negated because reasoning from faith is inevitable. To say that reasoning from faith is irrational is to invalidate all arguments ever made for any topic. That's my position, and I invite my opponent to refute this argument rather than the straw man he provided in round two.

I extend my entire argument from the first round and sincerely hope that my opponent can keep the debate properly focused.

Debate Round No. 2
izbo10

Pro

So far, my opponent has not even attempting an articulate argument for the rationality of god, he instead has chosen to do arguments that Foundationalism,Coherentism,

Reliablism, and infintislism are based on faith. Even if we accept that, how does one get to belief in a specific god is rational. Well according to my opponent he

can merely assert this is natural. He gives no reason he just asserts it. He fails to demonstrate a single reason to pick any god over another. He has just tried to

attempt to show that several options are not any better, which by the way he has failed at doing so by showing a complete lack of understanding of occams razor. He is attempting a argument known as reductio ad absurdum, which may make sense if he was arguing that any god exists, but this debate is about picking a specific god. Which he has conveniently chosen not to address. This reductio ad absurdum is based on a false dichotomy, in order to be rational in picking a god, one must have a reason to pick one god over another. He has given known, it still stands on special pleading a logical fallacy.

Until someone here can show me, where it is more rational to say "I have faith no god exists" then it is to simply assert that " I believe god exists." Then we are

left in a rational position of withholding belief. Just as we do when flipping a coin. The problem my opponent has is he can't even do that in this debate based on

faith alone. Let alone, trying to say one specific god out of the full dicnotomy of gods is worthy of belief in a rational sense. I am going to introduce

Maranamacons. I think it is perfectly reasonable to believe in them based on his reasoning we all have to accept somehting on faith, and it is inevitable that we

start somewhere so I start with Marananimacons as my presupposition. A Maranimacon is a non-god, fairy like creature responsible for the creation of the universe.

When you understand why it is not reasonable to believe in them, even though my opponent argues that Foundationalism,Coherentism, Reliablism, and infintislism are

based on faith, you will truly see how his argument fails. You can merely attack these 4 worldviews then assert any nonsense presupposition you want. He is chosing

to say it is reasonable to believe in any god. If we are intellectually honest we know he wouldn't agree with this if the god was trickster.

I am now going defend one of the 4 options as more reasonable then god, therefore making it the rational choice. I should not have to do this, as he should be showing

that a god is rational, and this is clearly a red herring that Foundationalism is rational, last I checked that is not the debate. But, for the sake of not having

much to talk about since my opponent has attacked 4 seperate worldviews and never addressed a specific god being a rational choice other then to assert it at the very

end, here we go. My opponent defines Foundationalism as:

1. Foundationalism

Foundationalism is perhaps the most straight forward solution. It simply asserts that all justified true beliefs will ultimately be justified by basic beliefs, or

presuppositions. These basic beliefs are not justified, but assumed, without logical proof or material evidence, i.e., faith. Thus, foundationalism solves the problem

by explicitly relying on faith.

This belief system is far superior to the god hypothesis in this way. When compared to god it has less baggage. We get down to a few properly basic beliefs such as

induction, logic, and that our senses perceive reality. It does not add a extra step completely violating Occam's razor. Since Occams razor is a logical way to get

at things, it make foundationalism a more rational choice then presupposing god. There is no need to go the extra step till the causes of these things are proven. It

is a rationally better choice based on occams razor to function as if these things are brute facts of the universe. Again this argument should not be necessary

because my opponent has not even attempted to demonstrate that a there is any rational reason to choice any specific god. Which again is the rub in this debate, its

because faith is not a reasoning tool to do so.

I ask the readers to ponder this question, was this debate about whether Foundationalism is based on faith? If no then why did my opponent bring it up? IS this

debate about Coherentism based on faith? If no, again this is irrelevant to the topic. Is Reliablism based on faith the question being asked in this debate? NO, then

ditto, and the same for INfintislism. Im sorry my opponent doesn't know what the debate is about. What god will I name next? Is it rational to pick one or to

withhold judgement until one actually comes up. My opponent would have one believe that it is just as rational to arbitrarily pick one then to actually withhold

judgement. He would do so by argung that other things are just as faith based. Never addressing whether it is rational. By the way it is Huitzilopochtli, guess you should have been more rational and witheld judgement.


I would also ask you to consider this fact, he has never once even attempted to address the fallacy of special pleading, which he must use to choice between the dichotomy of gods to say a specific god is worth believing in, =. He has conveniently ignored this, while actually claiming to have addressed it. Look through his post, does he address the fallacy of special pleading. If something is fallacious thinking it is irrational.

Again here is a list of gods:

Yahweh, Thor, Huitzilopochtli, Jesus, Mythra, Allah, Trickster, Dionysus, Horus, Invisible Pink Unicorns, Flying Spaghetti monster.

You can presuppose any of them you choice, but your choice was special pleading that your favorite is the reason, and since its a logical fallacy to do so it is not reasonable. He can attempt to conflate the issue of gods with properly basic beliefs all day, properly basics should be as few as possible and only beliefs that have no possible way of being justified, but are required to function properly in what we call reality. Any specific god does not fit this definition, as people function normally all over the world without presupposing this. While that is quite clearly different then the assumption your senses percieve reality, logic works, and induction works.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://en.wikipedia.org...
KRFournier

Con

The resolution is: To use faith as your reasoning for one specific god is irrational.

Pro's rules from round one are as follows:

In this debate my opponent will have to show that it is logical to put faith in a specific god, I will show it is illogical. This debate is not about arguments for god, but when somebody reverts back to saying, you just have to have faith, that, that very statement makes it illogical. This debate applies to a person who places faith in one god, persay the christian god or the islamic god. (emphasis added)

Given Pro's explicit instructions above, I am at a loss when he opens round three by saying, "So far, my opponent has not even attempting an articulate argument for the rationality of god…" Everything in Pro's last two rounds is centered around refuting an argument I never made and one he expressly forbade.

And so, I will not waste anymore of the readers' precious time. Pro has derailed the debate, effectively pulling a bait and switch. I extend all my arguments and leave the outcome of this debate into the readers' capable hands.

Debate Round No. 3
63 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
izbo10, I don't know why you insist on making yourself look like a fool. I told you I agreed with your resolution. You seem to think you are so intelligent but yet you can not comprehend something so simple as to why you lost this debate. You failed to argue the resolution you wrote. You failed to put together a constructive argument. Your debate points were a collection of rambling and distracting statements and analogies. Your opponent made a strong counter argument, yet you continue the same argument as if your opponent was not even there. Simply put, your clear lack of ability to communicate cost you this debate.

Debating is not all about who we think is right. If that were the case there would be no purpose in reading it. It is your responsibility to articulate why your point is correct. For the third time, you did not do that. If you still do not understand then read then first paragraph again. Continue this cycle as many times as it takes.

You have been at this for days and still continue the same argument. You think you are more intelligent then everybody else here yet you can not understand something so simple. You lost. Stop crying about it like a little child. Stop making stupid statements and third grade insults. Stop telling everybody how intelligent you are while being unable to figure out that when you are trailing 34-3 it means you lost. Man up, Grow up, learn something new, and move on.
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
was it special pleading double r?

If so I pointed it out, this debate had no obligation for me to play logic professor, you should be expected to understand that, I showed it by pointing out other gods. Does daddy still hold and shake it for you as well?
Posted by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
izbo10, For such a genius you sure are dense.

"double r i said it was special pleading and provided a link to understand... don't vote against me cause you are too lazy to read a link."

The purpose of a link is to support your argument, not to make it for you. You can not just state something and expect everybody to read links and spend time analyzing what you said to see if your statement is correct. It is your job to clearly show why your argument is correct. You failed to do that.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
Well, what I have just read is the most ridiculous argument about god. If god was omnipresent, then he can manifest everywhere. God is also a concept, as he is the basis of the religion and its teachings.

And all about logic, if logic falls, and nothing makes sense, how is that bad?
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
See logic is a necessary thing for functioning, like for example if logic failed if you take one step forward you could wind up 10 yards backwards. Without it nothing makes sense. On the other hand as well it is a concept and god is suppose to be an object so you are conflating two entirely different issues.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
Funny isn't it since you failed to define your own terms.
If I can't disprove your logic, then what should I use then? Should I focus on semantics when you're using logic to disprove another's. Does that make sense? (It might to you, I see).
And where am I special pleading...you love to toss phrases in baseless sentences. Wow, and here you claim that we need a logic class, and you're disdaining me for using logic. You yourself wrote, "you are using logic." Therefore, I don't need a logic class, nor anyone else who has commented.
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
Wow attacking a properly basic belief man-is-good.
The funny part is while accusing me of special pleading logic you are using logic to try to disprove logic. How funny is that.

And you are also special pleading because on any other topic you would accept logic accept this one and you know it.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
And talk of special pleading! You, izbo10, are accused of special pleading yourself...You place special importance on logic, and once wrote, that all statements/arguments must be PROVEN correct through logic (all statements are illogical until proven logical; if something is illogical, then it is incorrect.) BUT, you've also written that logic cannot be used to convince the people. So therefore, you are exempt from your own statement. After all, you accuse everyone of not having an education or a class of reading comprehension, but you fail to understand our own motives behind our comments. To you, it's a loss of logic and intelligence that wrote those comments. But to us, it's merely an extreme displeasure to one of the more aggressive members of this website, plus a bit of pity for his extreme arrogance.

And yes, I bet there'll be another response to this. Good luck, I say.
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
this argument is invalid (x)

accept when i use it for my gods

the argument when used for god is not invalid, as long as you understand the argument fails for invisible pink unicorns and maranimacons then you will see this.You failed serously to address how this argument gets you to any specific god. You left the dichotomy of possible gods open to have faith in and based on probability even if we accept that a god did it, to pick any specific god to start with, with all those possibilities is special pleading that only one god is worthy of that faith.
Posted by KRFournier 5 years ago
KRFournier
I understand what special pleading is, and I am certain you are mistaken in alleging my employment of the fallacy. As such, to be clear as possible, I'm asking you to fill in the blanks on the following form:

Xs are generally Ys.
x is an X.
x is an exception to the rule because it is I (where I is an irrelevant characteristic).
Therefore, x is not a Y.

This should be especially easy for you given how apparently blatantly I am in using it.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
izbo10KRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Izbo10 loses points for conduct and argumentation just for trying to move the goalpost. And his sources weren't tool relevant.
Vote Placed by Grape 5 years ago
Grape
izbo10KRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: KRF has a clear win on every voting point. Pro cannot keep the point of the debate straight and goes off on random tangents, losing conduct. He has no response to Pro's actual argument, which he does not understand. His writing is incoherent and shows no signs of editing or a basic English education. Finally, his sources are totally irrelevant to the debate while Con's actually explain his reasoning.
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 5 years ago
KeytarHero
izbo10KRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Izbo did not hold up to his end of the resolution. Con successfully refuted. Conduct goes to Con because Pro kept trying to derail the debate.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
izbo10KRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pros resolution was refuted adequately in R1 but instead of addressing Cons argument, he seems to make a new argument. In the end I agree with Pro but his argument was poorly constructed and does not make it clear why Cons rebuttal failed to negate the resolution. Simply put, Con made a better argument. Pros last round paragraph structure issues did not help.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
izbo10KRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Lopsided, KR did not argue as izbo expected and inzbo attempted a weak switch instead of dealing with the argument directly.
Vote Placed by Cobo 5 years ago
Cobo
izbo10KRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro went wayyy of topic an did not uphold his own BoP
Vote Placed by medic0506 5 years ago
medic0506
izbo10KRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: In the opening, pro says, "This debate is not about arguments for god...". Yet in closing, he says, "So far, my opponent has not even attempting an articulate argument for the rationality of god...". Con attempted to redirect the debate back to the resolution, but it didn't happen. Pro set the resolution, but wouldn't argue it, therefore con gets the win. The issue was that using faith as a reason for believing in a specific God is irrational, but pro did not show any irrationality.
Vote Placed by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
izbo10KRFournierTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Con argues well, but never addresses the issue raised by Pro. In the OP Pro specified, "This debate applies to a person who places faith in one god, persay the christian god or the islamic god." Pro loses S/G in R3.