The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

What will it take for an Atheist to believe in God?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,103 times Debate No: 68347
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)




Atheism is (as far as i know) portrayed as being more logical than believing God created the universe (or at least that's how many atheists make it out to be), but i think that belief in God is as equally logical. God doesn't want our observation nor our pitiful attempts to prove his presence, he wants our love and trust based on faith since he has determined that the only way we are saved is by faith and not by some empirical scientific proof.

I have few questions for atheists, how sure are you that your atheism is correct? And must God be known through a scientific method for you to affirm his existence?


I thank Misty1997 for this debate.

Routes of Justification
There are two ways to justify atheism over theism. One is to claim that the default position is to not believe God exists (which implies weak atheism, or agnostic atheism) and the other is to provide positive arguments that negate God's existance either inductively (i.e. by balancing the weight of evidence in favor of theism vs atheism) or deductively (showing that God's existance violates logic by contradiction and thus is logically impossible).

Default Position
IF we maintained a default position of believing claims to be true, or even 50% likely to be true, then we would put ourselves in a position to believe all sorts of mutually incompatible claims. At least half of the world's religions would be true even though many claim to be the sole truth, we would be left believing the Earth is both flat AND round, and believing we both did and didn't land on the Moon.
Thus, the most sound position of belief is one of skepticism, that is to reject all claims until sufficient evidence is provided to accept such a claim.

Thus, skepticism leads us to reject the claim of a God (who is usually defined as omnipotent, omniscient, intelligent creator of the universe ) until it satisfies a certain standard of evidence. This standard however has simply not been met in theism.

Negating God's Existance
God's existance directly entails supernaturalism. That there exists an external plane of existance which interacts with our world. However, inductively, we have found that naturalism has been overwhelmingly successful at explaining observations within the world. Naturalistic theories explain exactly how particles, atoms, molecules, cells animals and the universe behave. Quantum Mechanics, a leading branch of physics makes astonishingly accurate predictions that simply would not be expected IF the supernatural interacted with the natural.

Thus, it is both evidential, and more elegant to accept naturalism and reject supernaturalism.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello, thank you for your response. But you have to understand that science is simply the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. It has nothing to do with spiritualism, faith is the belief in God based on spiritual apprehension rather than physical proof. It is like knowing God not by scientifically measurable events, but through an intangible presence in everything you do. God is spirit, experienced somewhat intuitively, almost like experiencing love, air and gravity, or a gut feeling. Although these elements are all testable and measurable by science, faith is the only element that can't be measured nor tested and this is what i find so captivating about it. When i pray, i feel a great peace and comfort, strengthening, cleansing and inner spiritual fulfilment. If you approach finding God from a nuts and bolts or scientific standpoint, you'll find that believing is not by material means but by personal analysis of spirituality. Additionally, across all religions that have a concept of God, one belief is constant: God is the creator of all things. Meaning we all worship the same God but in different styles.

There's no physical evidence to warrant God's existence but there are signs, this for example was taken few months ago: You could argue that it was just a regular cloud formation but to me it's a sign. Also, there is little or no basis for the charge that the Bible teaches a flat earth. The Scriptures that seem to present a flat earth can all easily be explained when correctly interpreted and understood.


Best Explanation
When trying to find the ‘best model’ to fit the observations of nature, the following criteria are considered.

1. Simplicity

2. Explanatory Power
3. Fits within background knowledge
4. Makes predictive statements, or expectations

To justify these, overly complicated explanations introduce more and more dubious assumptions into the proposed explanation, each with a chance of being wrong. Thus a simple explanation which makes minimal assumptions is going to be the most likely to be true all else equal.

We also want a hypothesis which explains a lot of data and observations. For example, the theory of gravity provides explanatory power over not only the motion of bodies on Earth, but also celestial objects and the universe in general.

Obviously something we already know about (#3) is going to be more likely to repeat itself. For example, it’s much more likely that 10 naked people armed with spoons robbed a bank than 1 centaur. Despite the absurd notion of the 10 people, all the aspects of them are known to exist unlike centaurs

Application to Pro’s Case
I proposed naturalism, that is the study that all exists is the natural, and that the universe and everything within it obeys natural laws has excellent explanatory power (#2). It’s within background knowledge (#3), moreover it only introduces a minimal of assumptions. God however, introduces a plethora of assumptions that are unjustified.

Pro makes the argument from spiritualism, but this is not evidence of theism! I could concede naturalism is false, but that doesn’t entail God exists. Philosophies such as spiritualism, Buddhism, etc. also attempt to explain these same observations, yet they don’t invoke theism.

Pro argues there are signs from God, however in order to say ‘this is evidence of God’, we need to have an idea of what we would expect the world to be IF God exists. I argue that because God cannot be quantified, then it is impossible to say what he would entail, thus impossible to evidence in favour of.

Debate Round No. 2


This will be my final argument i suppose, i should've made this debate a bit longer since i still got plenty of things to say but i thought 3 rounds would have been enough, clearly i was wrong =)

Anyways, "Envisage" is a naturalist, meaning he believes that everything in the cosmos is a component or product of the physical stuff of nature. There is no such thing as the supernatural according to him. It's a valid worldview and i have nothing against it, though, how could a universe without God have value, meaning, and purpose, especially for sentient beings? Don't get me wrong, i believe life with or without God is as meaningful or meaningless as you want it to be. But sometimes i often think that life 'loses' meaning when an afterlife is not brought into the picture. I mean, if there is no God, then life is a fantastically improbable accident, the result of blind, purposeless, random processes. Please don't take offense, i'm just being sincere.

I understand that God didn't exactly left his name etched onto the surface of planets, however, there is evidence that the universe was designed by an intelligent being who purposed the universe to exist (through the big bang) and be capable of supporting advanced life.

How do i know God exist? My faith in God has never failed me. In the scoreboard of life, i may have lost more than i have won in all things that i have attempted, but i always felt like a victor when challenges have come to pass. Because even when i have lost something i worked hard and suffered for, i believed in my heart that i would get, and i have found that what was prepared for me was something much greater than i could have ever imagined.

If your prayers ever went unanswered, that doesn't mean God isn't real, he's simply telling you to "wait, i have something greater planned for you!" you just have to be patient. It is the rough road that leads to the heights of greatness after all.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this debate, good bye :)


Thanks Pro.

Pro drops all my arguments, so there isn't a whole lot left for me to add in this round.

"how could a universe without God have value, meaning, and purpose, especially for sentient beings?"

According to nihilism, which I think is the most sound philosophy of morals and existentialism, life simply has no value, meaning or overarching purpose. That's just the world we live in. I am sorry is Pro finds that disagreeable, but that's the cold hard truth. Once these illusions of objective values and purposes are put aside, it leaves room for one to find their own nche in life, without being saddled down with outdated preconceived notions.

"I mean, if there is no God, then life is a fantastically improbable accident, the result of blind, purposeless, random processes. Please don't take offense, i'm just being sincere."

Agreed. We only find life in a tiny fraction of a fraction of the available universe we have. Which is consistent with the universe not being customised for life and life just being an emergent outcome of the universe. If life was probable then we would expect several planets to harbor life, and much less empty space. Unfortunately for Pro, these observations are very much in line with what we would expect if naturalism was true. The universe simply doesn't care about our existance.

"How do i know God exist? My faith in God has never failed me."

I have no idea what Pro means by this, since 'faith' is a nebulous word which is used in multiple ways. Thus the meaning is not clear. Pro is clearly talking from an Abrahamic deity standpoint, but when one considers this is just one of a multitude of ways God could be, including malevolent, uncaring, abstract, it follows that prayer isn't a very good inducator of God's existance. Pro affirms herself that prayer isnt always answered. Thus how can Pro know that she is not just talking to herself when she prays?
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Misty1997 2 years ago
Why is everyone voting against me? Where did i go wrong? :/
No one agrees with the points i made? Nobody...?
Posted by johnlubba 2 years ago
What a very beautiful soul you are, Misty1997.

Don't ever change
Posted by NoMagic 2 years ago
I won't give that piece of propaganda any time. I've heard reviews. Typical characterization of an atheist by a Christian. Poor arguments from the Christian side. And of course, they never really show the flaws in all the arguments. It is nothing more than to try and keep people believing so the can continue to tell you how to vote.
Posted by catholicprofessor 2 years ago
watch the movie God is not Dead
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago

Posted by NoMagic 2 years ago
Misty you are probably a nice girl. But you should set your standard of evidence a bit higher than a odd looking cloud. That suggest you are looking for justification instead of truth.
Posted by Benshapiro 2 years ago
Envisage what font are you using? I like it.
Posted by LadyLover123 2 years ago
Good point, Tomlangford!
Posted by NoMagic 2 years ago
What will it take for an atheist to believe in a god (no reason to assume there is only one)? Simple really. Evidence. If you don't have evidence, I'm not interested.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
A god or gods would have to exist without contradiction It's not rational to believe in something with logically contradictory characteristics. It's not rational to believe in something defined one way when the allegedly same thing is defined in a contradictory manner by someone else.
The most rational and sensible position is to simply withhold belief and remain an atheist. The existence of a god hasn't been demonstrated to be so important that we should try to believe absent sound empirical reasons. Even if the existence of god is really important, that's not a reason to reduce our standards; if anything, that's a reason to demand higher standards of evidence and logic. If we are being given arguments and evidence we wouldn't accept as justification to buy a house or a used car, we definitely shouldn't accept it as justification for adopting a religion.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by NoMagic 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments clearly go to Con. It is apparent to me that most theist seem to look for confirming "evidence" to support what they wish were the case. This search leads to a very low standard of evidence, the desire to find some.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was right in saying that, "Pro makes the argument from spiritualism, but this is not evidence of theism!" Pro's arguments are essentially the benefits of believing in God, rather than how you would get to believing in God. Some of Pro's arguments were bordering on arguing that it makes you feel better to believe in God, which would have been an interesting impact, but I don't think that argument was made. Pro never quite fulfilled her BoP, and Con's counter-arguments only pushed hers further into the negative.