The Instigator
twsurber
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Grape
Con (against)
Winning
51 Points

You can't convince me that the God of the Bible doesn't exist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
Grape
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/14/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,127 times Debate No: 11183
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (59)
Votes (12)

 

twsurber

Pro

Since believers usually have the responsibility of proving their faith and having the Bible called fallacy or circular reasoning, let's see if any unbelievers can backup their unbelief and convince me that God does not exist. Be very careful with your sources, I may not find them credible.
Grape

Con

Resolution Negated: [I] can't convince [my opponent] that the God of the Bible doesn't exist.

Examination of the Resolution:

This would seem to be an impossible resolution, as my opponent could simply claim each round to still believe in the God of the Bible despite anything I said. However, the resolution does not call for me actually convince my opponent that the God of the Bible doesn't exist. The only question here is whether I CAN convince my opponent that the God of the Bible doesn't exist.

can - to be able to; have the ability, power, or skill to /or/ to have the possibility (1)

So all I have to prove is that it is possible for me convince my opponent that the God of the Bible does not exist, given my skills and abilities. I do not have to actually do any of this because the resolution does not call for it. I only have to show that I can.

Now, my opponent has not provided any set of circumstances under which I would be attempting to convince him that the God of the Bible does not exist, so I will define those as I wish. Here are a few examples of how I could convince my opponent that God does not exist:

1. If my opponent were under the influence of mind-altering drugs, it would be far easier to convince him of anything. I think voters will agree that if his mental state were sufficiently compromised, it would be possible (see the definition) for me to convince him that the God of the Bible does not exist.

2. I could offer a stunning argument against the existence of God which would satisfy whatever ridiculous burden of proof my opponent placed on me. I have formulated no such argument, but the resolution does not require this. Granting, destroying his firmly held beliefs would be difficult, but as long is it is possible given my abilities it is safe to say I can. Though it is not given that I would succeed, I think voters will find that it is possible that I possess the ability to do this.

Analysis of My Opponent's Argument:

In my opponent's argument, he once again states that he wishes to "see if any unbelievers CAN (emphasis mine) ... convince me that God does not exist." He very clearly again states that I only must prove I can and that I am under no obligation to actually do this. If this reasoning sounds like semantics, I offer two points:

1. Imagine if the resolution had been "My opponent can't jump of a ten story building." Would I be under the obligation to jump off a ten story building to win the debate? No, I would simply have to prove that it is possible that I could.

2. If we interpret the resolution as requiring me the actually convince my opponent of anything (even "the sky is blue") he can just deny it each round. Thus he would simply be declaring himself the victor and there would be no debate. I find this highly unsporting.

Conclusion:

I have demonstrated how it is possible that I may possess the ability to convince my opponent that God does not exist. If necessary I will offer more examples in further rounds. In order to win the debate, my opponent will have to definitively prove that it is not physically possible for me to convince him that God does not exist (thus satisfying the requirement that "I can't").

Sources:

(1) http://dictionary.reference.com...

I hope my opponent finds the dictionary not to be fallacious or circular in reasoning.
Debate Round No. 1
twsurber

Pro

I would like to thank grape for his acceptance and good sportsmanship.

While I do find the use of the verb "can" somewhat semantical, that too is a tactic I often engage in.

I admit my intent did not fall within that realm, I will address the argument presented. Is it possible to convince me that God does not exist after administering a mind altering drug? Excellent proposition indeed. Given that I would not be of my normal state of being, any information I provided may or may not reflect an accurate representation of how I would respond without the mind altering drug in question as I would not be in possession of my full faculties.

Suppose at such time, divine intervention, disallowed any negative disclosure? An omnipotent God certainly would possess such an ability.

In an unaltered state it is completely impossible.
In an altered state of mind, it may not be an accurate reflection of my views. Further, we can't know how I would respond, nor do we know if God would allow it.
Given the above, I disagree I am not convinced that God does not exist.

I will not be unsporting to my oppponent, please present new/additional ideas.
Grape

Con

I thank my opponent for being understanding of my case. For this round of the debate, I will focus on dispelling few objections to my earlier argument.

1. My opponent has pointed out that his behavior will under a mind altering effect does not represent his normal behavior. It is true that this may not be an accurate reflection of his ideas. However, all that was necessary was that he be convinced. Though it is impossible to know exactly how he would react, I expect the continued use of various mind-altering substances would eventually produce the desired result, given enough persistence.

2. My opponent argues a divine intervention could alter this outcome. Given the existence of God, it would be possible for a divine intervention to alter anything. It is for this exact reason that I consider this argument invalid. A divine intervention could alter anything. Suppose I had argued this:

1. A implies B
2. A
3. B

My opponent could argue that this is invalid, a divine intervention could cause A to imply C. It is impossible to know if God would allow anything. This does not prevent us from using any kind of reasoning just because God may intervene.

3. It was never given that God exists. My opponent cannot argue from the assumption that God exists. I am making no attempt here to prove that God exists, but unless my opponent can show that it is given or at least highly probable than it is not logical to use God as the foundation for an argument.

4. My proposition was backed by probability. Given the number of mind altering chemicals in existence, it is probable that at least one of them could put my opponent in such a mental state that he could be convinced that God does not exist. My opponent attempts to refute this with arguments that are based on uncertainty. We don't know for sure whether or not God would intervene, but we do know it is probable that the drugs would work. Considering the number of non-believers I think we can agree that statistically speaking the chances that God would intervene are not very high. Thus, even allowing for uncertainly, my argument is far more probably than my opponents.

5. My opponent stated that in an unaltered state of mind, convincing him would be impossible. I find this rather unlikely. To quote Orwell's 1984, "Men are infinitely malleable." Even without the use of drugs it is possible that such an argument exists that would convince my opponent otherwise. Unless he can show that his mind is neurologically incapable of being changed I will maintain that such an argument exists. I don't know what it would be. If we /are/ using divine intervention as an argument, than perhaps the Flying Spaghetti Monster could whisper it into my ear. But it doesn't matter because if such an argument exists, it is likely that I would eventually come up with it as there is no time constraint.

Conclusion:

In light of all this, I think it is safe to say that under some circumstances, I possess the ability render my opponent convinced that the God of the Bible doesn't exist. His arguments do not refute this possibility but rather attempt to cloud it with uncertainty. The basis of this proposed uncertainty is rather unjustified. I see no reason for anyone to believe that it is not possible for me to convince my opponent that God does not exist.
Debate Round No. 2
twsurber

Pro

Opponents Arguments
1. My opponent is assuming that I would accept a mind altering substance. In fact, I will not accept a mindaltering substance, specifically if it used to obtain a false positive. In that circumstance, his argument is dependent upon my taking the implied drugs. I refuse to take the drugs that would cause a false confession in the denial of God's existence.

2.& 3. At least in my mind, God would have to exist for me to believe in Him. The God that I still believe exists has the power of omnipotence, therefore, He can use divine intervention.

4. According to Webster, Probability is not proof, close but complete. Probability is the liklihood, not the guaranteed. If I were to comsume or otherwise partake, which I won't, my opponent has no clue which to use, nor the amount necessary to achieve a false confession.

5. My opponent refers to the enjoyable, yet ficticious work of George Orwell's (aka Erik Blair) 1984. Because of it being fiction, it is not realiable. As both Mongeese & Grape implied, is it possible for O'Brien to take me to room 101 and obtain a false confession? Even at the torturous hands of the flying spaghetti monster? Unfortunately for my opponent, the answer is no. Why? Because also in the realm of fiction, all of the atributes of Aslan, John Rambo, Rocky Balboa, and of course Jack Bauer would prevent any such false confession.

Semantic Rebuttal
While Grape has made this debate much more interesting than I expected, I too can throw a proverbial semantic-based curveball. In the Resolution, I used the pronoun "You". "You" does not refer to the debater known as Grape who accepted this debate. While brilliantly argued, the responsibility of You does not lie with the debater known as Grape.

Given the above, I, "me" remain convinced that the God of the Bible does exist.
Grape

Con

Thanks to my opponent for making this debate interesting. He has been a good sport not to react negatively to the direction I took this debate. Now, on to my arguments...

1. I have not assumed my opponent would accept the mind altering substance. My opponent could be forced to take the drugs. He could also be fooled into taking them. The means by which this happens does not matter as long as the end result is that the drugs are in effect.

2. & 3. Using the fact that you believe in something as a justification for believing in it is logically invalid. If we used this reasoning, I believe in myself and the self I believe in possesses the power of mind control (in much the same way the God my opponent believes in possesses the power of omnipotence.) I can then use my power of mind control to convince my opponent that God does not exist. If God tries to intervene, I will simply use my power of mind control on Him. The Bible does not state immunity from mind control is one of God's powers.

4. I do not mean to imply that probability is proof. I am alluding to the fact that the definition of the word 'can' states that if it is probable that you are able to do something, then you 'can' do it. And though it is true I would not know exactly what drugs or what amount to use on my opponent, I already accounted for this. As I said, I would simply keep trying different possibilities until I achieved success. As stated before, whether or not my opponent consented to this would not be important because my own goal is to render him convinced.

5. The fact that I casually refer to 1984 in my argument does not invalidate the extremely likely claim I made that it is possible to alter my opponent's perspective. As I said before, unless we can see that he is neurologically incapable of changing his mind without the influence of drugs (extremely unlikely) than we can assume it is possible for me to convince him. Also, if we are to be discounting works of fiction without a solid criterion for defining fiction then there is a certain historical fiction I know of that should perhaps be discounted as well...

Semantic Argument:
I don't see why my opponent brought this forward. Is he saying that the pronoun "You" could be referring to anyone? This seems to be so. You either refers to the person a comment is directed at or to people in general, it cannot refer to a random, unspecified person. He thus contends not that it is only I that is unable to convince him that God does not exist, but anyone to whom to word you could be referring. This leads to a nasty contradiction.

Informal logic:

1. 'You' could refer to anyone (any one)
2. God is someone (some one)
3. Therefore, 'you' could refer to God (1 and 2)
4. Therefore, my opponent believes that God could not convince him that God does not exist (Resolution and 3)
5. My opponent states that God is omnipotent numerous times
6. If God cannot do something, he is not omnipotent
7. My opponent states, "The God I believe in has the power of omnipotence
8. Therefore, either the resolution is not true or the God my opponent believes in does not exist (6 and 7)

As you can see, no matter which of these possibilities is true my opponent has put himself in an extremely bad spot. He would either have to accept that the resolution is false or accept that the God he believes in does not exist, thus proving the resolution. He could attempt to refute my logic, but it is mostly comprised of his own words.

And last but not least:

"Given the above, I, "me" remain convinced that the God of the Bible does exist."

The resolution never calls for action so whether or not you presently believe that the God of the Bible exists does not matter.
Debate Round No. 3
59 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Itsallovernow 6 years ago
Itsallovernow
*fail cheesemaker
Posted by twsurber 7 years ago
twsurber
Grape is correct. He only argued the possibility of ability. He did not deny God's existence.
Posted by Grape 7 years ago
Grape
The astute will notice that at no point in the debate did I even attempt to convince my opponent that God does not exist. That was never required by the resolution.
Posted by BlessedCheesemaker 7 years ago
BlessedCheesemaker
I commend Grape for tackling this one. Arguing against the existence of a being without anything other than personal faith bolstering it is similar to arguing against the existence of leprechauns. Everyone knows leprechauns exist, we can see thier rainbows, they steal our sox from the laundary and they have been successful at hiding gold from us for our entire existence. Besides my faith tells me in my heart they are real, how on earth could you possibly argue against that?
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
Or perhaps there is nothing to find out ;) I respect the right and, to a certain extent, the necessity of the belief in God for some, but have no reason to take up the beliefs personally.
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
Mercedz: read the whole comments thread. The instigator gives a justification for posting the debate. I disagree with it, but that's neither here nor there.
Posted by mercedzdanz 7 years ago
mercedzdanz
Why was this ever debated in the first place?
Posted by twsurber 7 years ago
twsurber
Of Course God exists, some people will find out too late.
Posted by Lafayette_Lion 7 years ago
Lafayette_Lion
Ok, really this is a dead end debate...Neither opponent can convince the other that God exists or does not, so the resolution cant be satisfied. NEITHER opponent wins, even though i strongly believe in God.
Posted by twsurber 7 years ago
twsurber
fail fail
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Vote Placed by dankeyes11 7 years ago
dankeyes11
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Vote Placed by wrestlenrun 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by grantman 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by dqftballplyr60 7 years ago
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