Why is your god the real god?
Debate Rounds (4)
1st round will be acceptance. Please state which god you believe in then I can start an argument why this god is not the real god.
We are also talking about supernatural gods, i.e. don"t call your god peanut butter sandwich as my answer will be rib eye steak,which wins because it just is better.
"My" God is the same God that all religions worship: the one supreme, true, God of the Universe.
Firstly,I would like my opponent to clarify some points as the definition of god given sounds almost deistic to me.(1) Is my opponent a deist who believes god made the universe and then no longer plays any role in the universe? If this is the case I have to wonder why even bother believing in this god, as it may as well be a peanut butter sandwich. This kind of god would be never provable and never improvable, but the one thing to be certain of is this god is useless and there will be no after life or ultimate judgement as proposed by most religions we know on Earth ie. Islam, Christianity.
Secondly, if my opponent says ""My" God is the same God that all religions worship: the one supreme, true, God of the Universe." Does this mean my opponent rejects all sacred texts, as they are all related to specific religions? As such you do not have any guiding principles from a holy book which is fine. However,if this is the case then where do you get your morals from? From a god or from a secular society? If you get them from a secular society then why do you need a god at all?
Also I have to ask is my opponent a Christian, as most Christians refer to god as "God". The emphasis is on the capitalized "G" and so I am seriously wondering if this is the case.
However, regardless of this. If my opponent believes there is one true God, how does my opponent even know this is the true God without some type of canon on which to base this idea.(2) It seems that this is a get out of jail free card, saying I believe in the one true God of the universe but not defining this God. I could rather claim I believe in the one true god of the universe but I call this god "goD" and this "goD" has been shown to me to be the true "goD". How can my opponent prove me wrong, if I have given no definitions for my "goD'. Or like I asked in the beginning is my opponent a deist?(1)
Over to you.
I do agree with your point about Deism being a bit strange. The only way it seems to differ with Atheism is in how the universe came into being. That being said, I DO agree with the deist philosophy that God created the Universe with the laws of nature; however, I disagree with the deist philosophy that creation is the extent of God's role among humans.
Most theists define God as being the all loving, all pervading, supreme essence of the Universe; an intangible divine force which created the universe, IS the universe, and maintains the universe. HOW God "maintains the universe" is something that theists disagree upon; while most modern theists believe that he does so through the Laws of Nature, there are some fundamentalists who reject science and stick strictly to what the Bible or Koran says.
With that clarified, I can now move on to your next point about holy texts. Since it would be impossible to even briefly talk about all the holy texts that have ever existed in the world, let's stick with the holy texts guiding the modern world's top 3 religions: the Bible, the Koran, and the Vedas.
I think I mentioned this in my last debate with you, but half the Bible was written by over 40 different, unrelated authors centuries before Jesus was born, passed down mostly orally since ancient times. One could argue that by the time those stories were compiled into the Old Testament of the Bible, they were not much more than traditional Hebrew folklore. Meanwhile, the other half of the Bible was written by 4 different authors who were trying to promote Christianity and gain converts decades after Jesus died. It should go without saying that those authors would be stretching the truth about Jesus's life in order to appeal to a wider audience. One could argue that the New Testament of the Bible is nothing more than early Christian propaganda. That is my argument for why the Bible is not a completely valid source of information, be it theological, scientific, or historical. It's historical/theological invalidity would also imply that Jesus did NOT say that Christianity is the only true religion, and that St. John simply claimed that in order to gain more converts.
The Koran was composed in a similar fashion, with Muhammad himself actually having no role at all in writing the book. His successor Abu Bakr was the one who started compiling stories into the Koran. Whoever wrote the line about Muhammad telling the Muslims to rule by the sword was most likely a justification for all the conquering they had already done and an excuse to do more.
Christians, Jews, and Muslims all claim the worship the same God. They themselves believe that all 3 religions worship the same supreme God of the universe, although they do disagree on HOW to worship him.
Moving away from the Abrahamic faiths, we see that the Vedas are a collection of Aryan folklore detailing the tales of hundreds of hundreds of gods. However, it also consistently states that ALL of those Gods are all incarnations of ONE SUPREME GOD.
Basically I support Universal Religion: that all religions are true paths to the one supreme God. I you overlook the superficial differences between them, all of them essentially say the same thing: don't hurt others, love everyone, fulfill your material duties, and love the one supreme lord of the Universe.
Back to you, Con.
Thanks to my opponent for clarifying his positions for me.
I am glad my opponent is not a deist,as it makes my argument more relevant. If he was a deist, then my debate would be me trying to show that the deist concept of God is useless and I am glad me and my opponent agree on this.
So from what my opponent has said and if I am not misinterpreting him, it seems that he believe in none of the main stream gods defined by religious texts or oral tradition. I think my interpretation is correct as my opponent stated the following. "Basically I support Universal Religion: that all religions are true paths to the one supreme God. I you overlook the superficial differences between them, all of them essentially say the same thing: don't hurt others, love everyone, fulfill your material duties, and love the one supreme lord of the Universe." as well as "ALL of those Gods are all incarnations of ONE SUPREME GOD"
This is an interesting position and in my opinion erroneous, as it boils down to a deistic worldview which my opponent disagrees with. All the morals (don't hurt others, love everyone, fulfill your material duties) except one (love the one supreme lord of the Universe) which my opponent said exist in all the religious texts can be gotten to without the need of a god. (1,2) In effect all these arguments come down to the observation that as humans we want to ensure our survival and by doing the things my opponent has mentioned we are helping ourselves survive. If we were to hurt/murder someone else, then it could happen that one of this attacked persons family members could seek revenge. This threat of revenge and potential death stops most people from doing these things. This brings me to the next point if we don't need a god to get moral ethics,then why should we love the supreme lord of the Universe?
The only reason to love a god, is if this information is coming from some holy text. My opponent will surely agree with me on this, but herein lies a big problem. If we should "love the one supreme lord of the Universe" where are you getting this information from? The only place to get this is from holy texts, and with holy texts come other important points which require adherence too. If you don't get there from texts then you are a deist, and you yourself have claimed that you are not.
So my opponents position is similar in essence to Universalism.(3,4) But in universalism,there is one important thing it does not require that we adhere to the morals that my opponent said are important in most cases. This means that no matter what we do, we all go to meet this god in the afterlife. So what is the point of loving this god? If this god is going to let us all meet him/her/it in the after life.
I think my opponent will surely agree with me that his definition of god is flimsy at best with no consequences. So the belief may as well be deistic.
Over to you.
The logic behind universal religion is that since God is all-loving, he doesn't care what religion you use to reach him, as long as you follow it with sincere devotion. All religions are true paths to God.
You stated that all humans would follow moral ethics anyways even without religion because humans follow moral ethics in order to survive. This is only partially true because following immoral ethics can also help with survival. Humans will lie, cheat, steal, and murder if it will help fulfill their needs (think about all the criminals out there). If there was no religion, many people would, like you said, still be "good". However, many other people would also be "bad" and survive that way at the expense of the "good" people. Religion encourages the "good" values in hopes of a peaceful, cooperative society.
Even so, there are other, more important reasons to love God. First, there is just thankfulness for the creation of the universe. Even more importantly, there is the fact that he is All-Loving and constantly forgiving our sins. It is only natural to give love back to an entity which gives each and every one of us such unconditional love.
God is the embodiment of unconditional love.
Notice that I did not actually completely dismiss all holy texts. All I said that we should take them with a grain of salt because of how they were written. They are still good sources of theological information.
You asked me where I am getting the information about loving the one supreme God of the universe. Well, I spent all of my last argument saying that all religions, even when considering their holy texts, point to one supreme God of the universe. And all of their holy texts DO indeed say to love God, so... I'm not really sure what other proof I can give on that topic...
Universalism isn't really as much of a religion as it is a philosophy attempting to unify all religions. People that "follow" Universalism have no shared doctrine; the only thing they have in common between them is a lack of an organized religion.
At the end of the day, religious people don't belong to any sect but the "sect of God".
Thanks to my opponent for his reply. Not to be disrespectful, but I have to say I am finding your god definition very flimsy. It seems that it is in essence universalism, but not adhering to one religious text but taking parts from various texts. This is to me really confusing, as I am not sure how you are determining which parts of which text to adhere to. As I pointed out, all the morals that you highlighted can come from normal human behaviour without a god anyway.
You pointed out that without religion that some people will be good and some people will be bad. I agree with you absolutely on this point. We just have to look at the killings in the highly secular/atheist Norway and the Oklahoma City bombing in the highly secular/religious USA to see that this is true. (1,2) Which means that religion is not helping morality anyway, otherwise the bombing in Oklahoma City would have not happened. Maybe I should also add as a side note, that both of these killings were perpetrated by self identifying Christians.
Additionally, how does my opponent know god created the Universe? If this is the case the surely we have to ask who created god and then we are in an infinite regress.(3) Or we could accept that the Universe started from "nothing". Please though remember this "nothing" is not a concept we readily understand as "nothing" can still mean quantum fluctuations which can mean things like the Casmir effect.(4) In simple terms the Casmir effect says that something can come from "nothing".
You mention that god forgives us for our sins, but how are defining sins? Again you have to be taking this from some type of holy text which is defining morality above the normal moral constructs that you laid out in the beginning and which can come without a god. This raises two very important questions.
a) Which religious text are you using to define these sins?
b) How do you know the parts of the religious text you are taking your morals from is real?
This point B is very important as you have already stated that most religious texts are not to be taken literally, but rather with "A grain of salt."
I think my opponent summed up the problem I have with this Universalism god very well in his last statement where he said, "Universalism isn't really as much of a religion as it is a philosophy attempting to unify all religions." This is true what my opponent is forwarding here as the universalim god (proposed here) is really a philosophy to live life well. However, it does not imply a supernatural god at all. In this debate I really wanted to show how my opponents god is not the real god, but this god of universalism is more to me not a god in the supernatural sense anyway. So I would say this debate has taken a very different course, but has still been very insightful.
I would like to thank my opponent for the debate and finish by saying keep searching as I am pretty sure atheism is your next stop.
(3) http://rationalwiki.org... , http://www.informationphilosopher.com...
When one gets bogged down in the details of a holy text, they get involved in a petty theological discussion instead of actually taking in the text's big picture morals.
"Don't miss the forest while looking at the trees". That is what I mean by taking religious texts with a grain of salt.
Religion can only ENCOURAGE morality; actually enforcing it is up to the people who follow religion.
You pointed out on a side not that some of the people behind recent mass murder incidents were Christian. Just because those worthless killers claimed to be Christian doesn't make them truly Christian; in fact, they went directly against their religion's morals by killing innocent people so they don't really count.
The problem with the "who created God" argument is that, if the universe was God-less, then who created the universe? You proposed the Casmir effect could explain how the Universe came into being out of nothingness, but this could just as easily apply to God: a conscious, metaphysical, divine force which came into being out of nothingness.
To answer your questions about what a sin is...
a) I'm using all of them, but I'm looking at them with the big picture perspective I discussed earlier
b) I'm using all parts of all of them with that same big picture perspective
The God of Universalism is the same God of all the religions. ALL religions worship the same ONE GOD. If you look at all religions in perspective, this becomes increasingly obvious (unless, of course, you're an atheist and you don't accept the existence of that one God at all...). God created ALL of the world's religions as paths for humans to reach him through.
This debate DID take a strange path. It shifted from trying to prove or disprove the existence of God to debating the possibility of Universal Religion.
I don't really see a clear winner, since neither God nor Universal Religion was truly proven or disproven, but I suppose it is up to the voters now...
Thank you for another stimulating debate.
I especially appreciate reasonable opponents now, since just before this, I had come out of a dead-end debate with a totally unreasonable Christian fundamentalist who refused to accept anything I said.
I doubt that I will become an atheist as I have already proved the existence of God to myself beyond a doubt.
I will keep searching though :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MrJK 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The debate was not such that could really be agreed/disagreed with beforehand. Spelling/conduct tied. Arguments: Predictably this became another exercise in theistic evasiveness and fallaciousness, which I assume was the instigator's intention. Only con gave sources.
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