The Instigator
unveiledartist
Con (against)
The Contender
QuantumAchilles
Pro (for)

Why we believe in god(s) Agree/Disagree with arguments presented

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 285 times Debate No: 99590
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
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unveiledartist

Con

Warning: I write long posts. I separate them so they are easy to read. Take your time please. You don't have to answer all questions and all points. As long as you get the general idea and go from there.

The Debate point: Why do we believe in god(s)? The analysis of why we believe what we do as religious people however we define ourselves. I do not believe in a creator. That is my mini-background.

This argument is taking out the evolutionary conversation. This is purely psychological and cultural reasons why we believe in god.

Argument: Because belief in god is psychological and cultural, we cannot say god exists outside ourselves and minds as human beings. There is nothing wrong with that; however, I'd like to hear some reasons why these above would not be true and two, what facts do you have about god's existence that is not based on humans and human testimony.

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Anderson Thomas, the author of this book, and my personal thoughts say as some reasons why we believe in god:

1. The need for a caretaker (Attachment Mechanism)
2. The Father Figure
3. Cultural Adaptions
4. Uncomfortable with "Not Knowing"

A. The need for a caretaker

Thomas argues we had care takers (in a general sense) all of our lives. Whatever culture we were raised in dictates the type of care we receive as children growing up. Maybe you, as a child, have had an invisible friend, had a loving mother and/or father, a caring priest, or a best friend. The attachment doesn't go away.

However, we feel a bit disconnected (westerners, I'll focus on for a minute) when we grow older and want to "get out of the house" at age. Then we find in our forties we are alone and in our fifties that is probably where our morals and values crisp not just inwardly. We may be, say, christians all of our lives, but to know what christians believe AND live it, that is completely different.

We develop this "them vs. me" mentality and then we start asking "why does evil come into the world" and things of that nature.

Sometimes it gets so worse psychologically that we distrust humans even ourselves. It's an indirect for of depression, actually.

So we turn to god.

1. god can't be seen: so he cannot be proven wrong

2. God is seen as a personal god (speaking of Abrahamics at the moment) so why would we share the "our" justifications about god to outside parties. Even on debate sites.

3. We grow to make this god more real. Catholics, in particular, make god very real by the physical Eucharist. Thomas calls this "confirmation bias." Your beliefs as a believer are confirmed by like-minds. Groups of like-believers. What is written rather than what is said. For some reason we trust what is signed on paper then what is spoken. Not all cultures are like this.

That need for god becomes real. It blossoms. And when someone asks "prove god exist" how can you? It's by faith. Belief. Consciousness we can't see. Spirit. Different words that confirm our beliefs because since we can't describe it how can we disprove it.

Question:

That is a form of attachment. When we think of the father figure situation, we become a "child to our attachments." When we need someone to turn to, who (or what) do we go to? God.

Point:

We need attachment for survival and having beliefs confirmed by ourselves and others even if they are not real objective facts gives us a sense of being or a sense of foundation. God is not an outside party. He is a ideal of our need for attachment.

B. The Father Figure

I want to expand a bit more about needing a father figure. It comes from a need of authority and direction. We get to a point that we notice we can't (as a friend told me once) "I can't do it on my own." We need someone to guide us. The Buddha isn't god nor is our Ancestors but they do guide us in some fashion. Why do we need this father figure?

In addition to what I said above, it's human nature. I'd rather say mother figure since I was raised by one parent. It's a paternal and maternal instinct to take care of one's young.

Question:

Hence why god is love and Thomas says, there is another mechanism attached to this and that is justice or punishment. I have a friend who, if she does something against god, she feels god will punish her and she should repent. Why do we need this ideal of authority and justice vs. love?

God doesn't exist in that he is a product of our need to have love (or is love) and the need to have an authority, guide, or father figure (a need for guidance). It comes from ourselves, our culture, our history, and our present.

How could it come from an outside party?

Point: Our need for a father figure gives us the moral balance of love and justice. When we side on love and do things that go against that love, we feel guilt and feel as if we will be punished. While we have a sense of punishment on earth, our personal morals, we conclude, is not dependent on others. They, in western culture, do not define our morals. Instead, in god-beliefs, god defines a person's or community's morals. God is not an outside being. He is the developed morals that give people a sense of right and wrong.

C. Cultural Adaptions

This is relatively short. We all have culture even Americans, believe it or not. Our culture defines how we see the world, ourselves, others, and our environment. It forms how we define god.

Point: Now if god was objective or exist independent on ourselves, he would have the same characteristics regardless the culture. That is not true nor is a fact. Because God has varying characteristics depending on the religion, I conclude god is a product of our cultural views and ways to make sense of the world. God is not an outside party but an ideal that defines us as a culture (to those who believe in god). Abstract not tangible.

Question:

If god is not a product of our culture and is independent of it (he exist without our existence), can you share attributes of god that have no reflection of our wants, needs, history, testimonies of human beings?

D. Being uncomfortable with the unknown

When a child is in the dark, he becomes scared of the unknown. When adults are in the dark we may become a bit uneasy. If we have seen our entire lives and all of the sudden everything becomes pitch dark, then many of us wouldn't function. I have 20/20 vision. My vision started declining in two different ways gradually. One is off and on, the other still there. I thought I was going blind. Scared the living day lights out of me.

With that said, we don't have to admit it (a lot of us have pride and ego) but when you are faced with something you do not know about, you may want to challenge it, be afraid to challenge it, or just let it be.

In the case of god, we feel he is "bigger than anything" and "can't be explained in human words." We use these terms to describe the unknown.

But why is the unknown better than the known?

Why is what you cannot see more valuable than what you can see?

God, as a father figure, becomes a comfort that you are not alone.
You become attached by confirmed bias (not bad, just sayin') and that gives you foundation to work in the unknown
Your cultural adaptions let you understand how to interpret the unknown

But it is still the unknown. Why? Why does god have to be greater and bigger?

Think about it. God is pretty simple and easy to understand. Just because we do not know something doesn't mean it is greater than what we do know. If anything, cherish what we do know and don't think about what we don't.

A lot of god-religious folks cannot do that. That is okay. It results in our need for an afterlife, our need to have our wisdom carried on, a need of some aspect of us to live beyond our physical passing.

Yet, not many people will say I DO NOT KNOW.

Question:

Why is that?

Point: God is an explanation of the unknown. He is the unknown because when you understand god via all the points above, you are more comfortable of confirming what you do not know with the illusion that you know. (Aka... you believe you are god without saying it).

Nothing wrong with that. Even non-religious, atheist, and agnostics fall under this category.

1. The need for a caretaker (Attachment Mechanism)

Our best friend, our mentor, our priest, our community, become our caretakers. We are social human beings. In this case, god becomes a caretaker because that is what we have had since a child.

2. The Father Figure

Father figure or authority is every where all around the world. Why can't we lead on our own. As the comedian Kat William says "why can't we be single for awhile? Why do we need a president right now." He has a point.

3. Cultural Adaptions

We all have culture. No one is isolated from that fact.

4. Uncomfortable with "Not Knowing"

There are millions of things we do not know but our tendency to find answers leads us to....

god.

That's why I say god does not exist. He is a product or an result of our need for the points above. As an abstract entity, how can you prove he exists out of this.

I write long posts so take your time and answer the points you are interested in.
QuantumAchilles

Pro

Human invent Gods for a simple, fundamental reason and it has to do with the very cycle of life. The fact that we die is often too complex and painful to handle, the idea that someday our most treasured memories, our greatest ideas and most beloved feelings will vanish along with the dust of our bodies, causes people to believe in something greater because they are not able, or don't want to accept reality as it is. Now, I will start of by enunciating two simple reasons that justify my atheism, it's worth noting that I will be defending the idea that the monotheistic deity of Islam and Christianity isn't real:

1) The main reason why I don't believe in the God described in the Bible and the Quran is because it is a purely subjective cultural invention that depends on sociological changes throughout history. Why didn't early hominids speak of an all-mighty creator? If the Christian and Islamic God was real, what was the all-mighty craftsman of the Universe, doing during the thousands of years in which mankind worshipped others Gods such as Zeus, Odin and Ra? If the monotheistic God were real, then his theological characteristics (the trinity, his unlimited power, the fact that he is eternal, his commandments and general philosophy) would be independent of culture and society, of conquest and historical dynamics (by which I mean the way in which cultural identity is wiped out through conquest) meaning that no matter what group of humans you were dealing with, be it Sumerians or Macedonians, despite their linguistic and political differences, they would each "discover" the nature of this one God independently of imperialism. Since this is not the case, it means that the believe in a particular deity depends on what empire conquered what nation at a particular time in history. For example, had Hannibal successfully defeated the Roman empire, his religion would have been forcefully spread in the new conquered territory and its ancient believes would have been forgotten. This is exactly what happened when the Spanish conquistadors wiped out the religious, linguistic and cultura, identity of American natives, replacing their very own language and religion through fear and genocide. To sum-up this particular argument against the existence of God as viewed by Islam and Christianity, says that God can't be real because his existence is not discovered nor found in nature, it's not an objective thing that groups of humans can have access to independently, but rather it is a made up concept, imposed by invasions and conquests. If early Homo Sapiens had drawn something that represented the holy spirit on cave walls, if Greek poets had spoken about the garden of Eden independently from the Jews, if the Egyptians had thought of a being similar to Allah before the Muslims, then it would mean that God is indeed an objective concept and therefore a real one but this has never been the case. We have on one side, certain similarities between religions specially in polytheistic ones for example, in Greek mythology the God Zeus is very similar to Odin and Ra, the idea of immortal warriors like Siegfried and Achilles, means that cultures have based on one another's myths to construct their own spirituality (one example of this is the myth of Deucalion the son of Prometheus who is told by his father to build an ark since Zeus had sent a deluge to wipe out humanity is virtually identical to the story of Noah) but on the other side of the spectrum, we find that ultimately, each religion and mythology offer a whole branch of explanations for the same thing: reality. If reality is one and objective, how can there be multiple interpretations of the same thing? General relativity is general relativity if you are in Greece or in Egypt, a circumference has a radius here and in Mars. This is basic quality of truth: that it is universal and objective and God certainly has none of that.

2) The second reason why I don't believe in God is a simple one really. If God was real, and if indeed he was the creator of the Universe then he would have to know the language of reality and that is, the handful of physical laws from gravity to electromagnetism which govern everything from the motion of atoms to the luminosity of galaxies. If indeed he existed, and if he indeed inspired people to write down his account of creation, then you would expect Genesis to contain a description of the Big bang, sure the names of forces and constellations and magnitudes can vary but the math stays the same, the key concept of inflation is unchangeable, you can call it magical growth but the logical relationships of quantity and geometry that back up this idea together with the cosmological evidence that is abundant in the wombs of space, make it a fact. Since genesis ignores the Big bang, galaxy growth, the age of the solar system and most important of all...EVOLUTION! you are left with two possible explanations:
Either God doesn't know the science that went into the making of the Universe in which case he didn't create reality or (and this is the most likely one) he doesn't even exist in the first place.
A being cannot be ignorant of atoms and plasma, of black holes and electromagnetism if he created this Universe and the way in which Genesis is written is fantastic for literature, but for science it's simply nonsense.
Debate Round No. 1
unveiledartist

Con

QuantumAchilles

Hmm. If you were to play devil's advocate, would you find reasons why god would exist outside our cultural, mental, and environmental norms (as explained both our replies) norms?

What evidence would there be if god did exist outside of the things we mentioned?
QuantumAchilles

Pro

There is no evidence to show that Gods exists outside culture. For example in Greek culture, it was okay for grown men to maintain relations with teenagers and to justify this cultural tradition, on many occasions, male Gods such as Apollo fall in love with young humans. Women were viewed as inferior and you have the myth of Pandora that basically blames the first female for unleashing upon the world, all the evils imaginable. In the case of judeo-christian beliefs, since the Jews were enslaved, and often humiliated by other civilisations, they pictured a God that would make them powerful through warriors and kings like David and Sanson and who would free them from slavery, therefore proving that the personalities of Gods are directly linked with culture. There is no evidence in nature of a higher being. Alien life forms have no yet been found and there is nothing to indicate that God is out there, nothing besides cultural tradition and human faith.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by unveiledartist 11 months ago
unveiledartist
What question?
Posted by unveiledartist 11 months ago
unveiledartist
What question?
Posted by unveiledartist 11 months ago
unveiledartist
You can pick one or two from the list and form your arguments just from that point. I list them above and recapped them below.
Posted by Mr.masterDebator 11 months ago
Mr.masterDebator
If we christians have afterlife why r we afraid of death
Posted by Mr.masterDebator 11 months ago
Mr.masterDebator
have a question for u
Posted by TheMagi 11 months ago
TheMagi
I would love to debate this topic, but I don't have the time or the patience to argue against every point (or even a significant amount of them). Could we choose only one?
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