god is not great
Debate Rounds (4)
Here's how the debate will be formatted, once my challenge is accepted:
In the first round, the contender will make an opening statement explaining why god is great.
In the second round, I will provide my opening remarks and explain why I think god is not great, and the contender will attempt to rebut my opening statement.
In the third round, I will attempt to rebut the contender's opening statement, and the contender will argue against my rebuttal (in other words, the contender will attempt to rebut my rebuttal).
In the fourth round, closing statements will be made.
The current round is open for whoever accepts my challenge to make their first argument.
I wish my contender the best of luck.
Pro claims to be an "atheist," but for the sake of this debate, Pro is going to pretend that God is real. Yet he is going to argue about something he does not believe in, is "not great." This is going to be interesting.
Those who believe Divinity created our universe should realize that the Laws of Nature are also part of God's creation. Therefore, these Laws are simply the handwriting of God. Through those Laws, God created life. Isn't it "great" to be alive? Oh the Greatness of God! On the other hand, when man goes against, misinterprets, or does not understand the handwriting of God, he approaches the negative side of life's spectrum, which includes death, tyranny, and/or the pursuit of negative-feedback. However, when man uses the scientific method in deciphering the greatness of God by studying God's handwritings, attracts him to the positive side of life's spectrum, that is, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of positive-feedback (Happiness for us humans), known as life's Unalienable Rights. One's faith should conclude these Laws of Nature are the handwriting of God and our Unalienable Rights are part of that handwriting, as we come to realize the force of morality, which is an outgrowth of our Unalienable Rights (the desire for positive-feedback between living-systems), is a representation of God's fingerprint.
Those of faith, including preachers, prophets and my Friend Pro, should be careful when studying man's written scripture about God. We must remember that man is fallible, and those who study such scriptures may misinterpret of what God wants; therefore, God gets--and, in some cases, God help us all.
It would appear Pro is going to base his argument on scripture, aka the handwriting of man about God. I am going to base my argument on the Laws of Nature, aka the handwriting of God.
Before Pro goes into Round 2, I would recommend the following background:
With that said, good luck Pro, and let the debate begin.
I assume that Con is familiar with the Fritzl case. For the people who are not, I will briefly explain it. Between the years 1984 and 2008, a woman named Elisabeth Fritzl was kept in a concealed basement dungeon by her father, Josef Fritzl, who would visit her most nights to rape and assault her. The constant abuse and rape led to the birth of seven children; four of whom joined their mother in captivity. And it was only by pure accident that Josef Fritzl was taken into custody for his atrocious crimes. Now, take a moment to think about how Elisabeth must have felt during her 24 years of confinement. Imagine how much she must have pleaded her father not to brutally rape her. Imagine how much she must have begged him. Imagine all of the prayers that she must have sent up to god, begging for his help, begging for his intervention, but never receiving an answer. And god supposedly watched and allowed this terrible sequence of events unfold. He watched Elisabeth get raped for 24 years and did absolutely nothing about it. So, either god could do nothing to help Elisabeth, or he just didn't care to. If he really couldn't do anything, then he would be impotent. If he really didn't care to do anything, he would be malevolent. Both of these attributes are contradictions to god's assumed greatness.
Now, Con could argue that the reason god did not intervene to help Elisabeth (and every other girl/woman who has been or ever will be raped) is because of free will. He could argue that god never intervenes to stop any unfair or evil event because the tribulations make people stronger. These would be absurd arguments to make, of course. A lot of the evil that goes on in the world (including Elisabeth's 24 year confinement) is completely superfluous. And If it is true that god did not help Elisabeth because of free will, then this only means that god cared more about Josef Fritzl's freedom to rape and torture than the well-being of Elisabeth Fritzl. Divine intervention would have been the correct moral action to take on god's behalf, even if it would have affected the free will of Elisabeth and her father.
Scenarios like this happen regularly. People are raped, tortured, and abused. Apparently, god does nothing to stop any of it because he doesn't want to affect anyone's free will. Yet, the free will argument doesn't work in every scenario. Innocent people die from natural disasters, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc. all the time. These are wicked atrocities that only god can be responsible for; they have nothing to do with free will.
So, regardless of whether or not free will is an actual issue when it comes to why god doesn't intervene to help people who suffer, the fact that he doesn't only shows that he isn't as loving and great as his believers make him out to be.
Pro, I could see your point, if that is the way you believe in God. You fell in the belief trap like those who write scripture about God, the handwriting of man. You went on to say, "If he really couldn't do anything, then he would be impotent. If he really didn't care to do anything, he would be malevolent." Now he [God] is a man. What insight you have about God, I'm overwhelmed.
In Round 1 you stated, "(I am referring to the Abrahamic deity, the god of the Muslims, Christians, and Jews)." Why have you not include all the civilizations, tribes, and societies throughout recorded history and today, where they all had some belief in some Divine that transcends their reality, yet not one culture was found to be atheist. I like to study the empirical. Since humanity throughout the ages believe in some Divine, what they had in common, was this entity created the universe, the rest appears to be inconsistencies in mythical noise.
I'll treat this common belief throughout the flux of humanity as some entity, call it God, for lack of a better term. Again, I find this God Great for creating the universe and my existence, while life evolved to the ability of deciphering God's handwriting via the scientific method giving humanity a roadmap to utopia. God's handwriting is in our hands and how we use that knowledge can put humanity on the highway to utopia.
As for humans doing evil to others, we know that is immoral. Perhaps, if educational institutions present a subject for the study of morality being a physical force in nature, this world will be a better place to live, for the love and greatness of God is found in that physical force.
I'm going to clarify something: I never said that I wanted "divine intervention" from "all the evils of man" and to stop natural disasters. But, if god is really this perfect being, why doesn't he ever help out just some of the time? When parents pray for their child not to be killed off by natural disasters, why doesn't god ever answer their prayers? If I saw someone suffering, and I knew I had the means to help them, I would.
I fail to see how you proved me wrong when it comes to god's impotence and malevolence...it's pretty straightforward: god watches people suffer and does absolutely nothing to stop it. So, either he can't, or he doesn't want to. Those are the only two options. Take your pick.
Con, I didn't include all of those other civilizations, tribes, societies, etc. because I am not concerning myself with those in this debate. I'm choosing to focus on the god of Abraham because this is the god that a vast majority of people worship today. Please, stop trying to redirect the topic at hand.
You say that this god is great for creating the universe and you. It sounds more than just a bit narcissistic to say that god created this entire universe just for you, if that is what you are saying. It's the perfection of narcissism, actually.
Why do you keep speaking of the universe and the laws of nature as if they're absolutely perfect designs? Over the course of our planet's existence, 99% of all species that have ever existed are extinct. Most of the cosmos is not habitable for humans, and around every corner, there's something that has the ability to kill us. The Andromeda Galaxy is going to collide with our Milky Way in about 3.75 billion years. Sure, this will be far beyond us, but the question must be asked: who designed that? Who was the maker of that? These don't seem like the works of a great god, but an incompetent one.
Yes, we do know that humans committing evil acts to other humans is immoral, but what I'm trying to point out is that your great and loving god never does anything to help. Here's a question for you, and it goes back to the statement I made earlier in this argument: if you knew that Elisabeth Fritzl was being raped and tortured in a basement dungeon by her father, and you had the means to help her, would you? Of course you would. It's your god who wouldn't, it seems.
My answer to Pro's question is, no. I did not claim to "know the mind" of God, as much as Pro seems to know God by Pro's intellectual observation coming to the conclusion that God may be: "omnipresent, impotent, malevolent, etc." Perhaps, the question of, "Do you claim to know the mind of this being?" should be directed to Pro.
Pro went on to say, "Over the course of our planet's existence, 99% of all species that have ever existed are extinct." Pro, this is part of evolution, the machinery of God's hand in creation.
Pro is all over the map, may I say galaxy, by stressing, "The Andromeda Galaxy is going to collide with our Milky Way in about 3.75 billion years." Pro, I hope you're not losing sleep over this event. Let me guess, we should "blame it on" God. The phrase, "blame it on," seems to be the political correct response these days. In other words, play the victim card, woe is me, "blame it on" God for not answering one's prayers.
Pro made a good point, and I thank him for reminding me, one of the parameters of this debate is based on the man written story or scripture "on the god of Abraham." Let's continue with that theme, I know a little about that story. I must admit, I do enjoy some of Hollywood's movies on such a story around Christmas and Easter time.
On a serious note, the philosophical and Constitutional foundations forming the institution of government for the United States, some of our founding Fathers were Deists and most were followers of "the god of Abraham." For example, in the US Declaration of Independence the scholar Thomas Jefferson stated the following:
""the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Recently, Takac scientifically proved Jefferson's "unalienable Rights," via the newly discovered physical law known as the Constructal Law, aka the handwriting of God.
Jefferson's unalienable Rights influence over Constitutional design, put into motion a relatively short 200-year social experiment. The results of which have changed the world like no other society in recorded history, by the fruits of technology, food production, and medicine, the stables of human existence throughout the world today. A compelling example when these God given Rights are morally free to operate within the awesome machinery of "God's Nature."
Jefferson was a Deists, where John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a follower of "the god of Abraham," once said,
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
Today, the ruling-class in DC lost their moral compass, and for the most part, no longer follows the US Constitution, as Adams predicted.
Why take Pro down this segment of human history influenced, in part, by the story of "the god of Abraham?" Unbeknownst to Pro, he is enjoying the miracle from the fruits of technology, food production, and medicine, a result of an institution whose formation was influenced by following the greatness of God's perceived goodness via the story of "the god of Abraham." Perhaps, Pro should study the founding of the US, and during that journey, may come to find God.
Pro should also be familiar with the story of "the god of Abraham," where there was ample discussion about the source and influence of evil. I know Pro is an atheist but it seems he is playing "Devil's advocate" during this debate when he stated, "... if such a being [God] really did exist, it seems I would have no choice but to deem him evil." Relative to one who is a follower of "the god of Abraham," may view the atheist Pro as a mouth piece for the Devil during this debate. Why not? Con is representing the greatness of God, as defined in the story of "the god of Abraham," where Pro is claiming "god is not great." Who else would make such a claim, but one who is influenced by the Devil, the source of evil, according to "the god of Abraham."
Of course Pro will bounce back with such questions as why did God create the Devil? Why did God create hell? Why did God let Elisabeth Fritzl's "24 years of confinement" continue? Why did God let Hitler do his thing? Why is God today letting Muslim extremist slaughterhouses exist, after beheading Christians, and distribute their meat for human consumption--bon appetite?
In addition to killing Jews and Christians, throughout history, Muslims are killing Muslims over "the god of Abraham," here is a list of some of those conflicts: http://wikibin.org...
Oh, the humanity, all this bloodshed makes Elisabeth's event look like a church scene. Where do you draw the line for God to step in? Pro seems to know. Since Pro claims "god is not great," implying there are problems with God's human creation. Perhaps, God needs to do some evolutionary house cleaning, by sending a meteorite, as God did with the dinosaurs, and see what happens after that. God has all the time in the universe, to get it right. Hence, the "99% of all species that have ever existed are extinct." Pro should realize the evolutionary process has not ended, and it continues today. And in saying that, one day humanity may become more God like.
My Friend Pro (aka the "Devil's advocate") I do not have the answer to the above devilish questions. However, the simple story of "the god of Abraham," claims that we humans have "free will" and this freedom is part of a testing process to send those who are immoral to hell and those moral to heaven. But Pro earlier wrote this "free will" process off as evil, using the example of what happened to Elisabeth. I suppose Pro does not like the way God behaves and the design of the universe; I would recommend Pro take his grievance directly to God, after the termination of Pro's short vacation here on earth. The way time flies here on earth, God's reaction to your grievance will come far too soon.
According to the written story of "the god of Abraham," the parameter of this debate, the definition of God represents greatness of everlasting love and the creator of the universe (the position of Con not disputing said scripture), where the scripture also defines the source of all evil is from the Devil (Pro disagrees with said scripture and "blames it on" God).
Pro, like most humans, who read man's written scriptures about God, enjoys the freedom to spin their own interpretation of what God wants or in Pro's case, the assumption of "god is not great." On the other hand, Con simply reads little into the scriptures, taking them at face value, but mainly observing the human reaction from them. Empirically, there are differences between the way Christians and Muslims interpret the story of "the god of Abraham." It is sad to see such large segments of population worshiping the same God, but killing each other over reference; and along comes Pro with his enlightenment that "god is not great" because God does not submit to the demands of God's creation.
Perhaps, Pro should understand the story of "the god of Abraham," and study human nature over the reason why there is evil, while Pro plays the role of "Devil's advocate" by condemning God.
I'll try my best to address everything that Con has stated, and attempt to rebut his points.
Con begins by thanking me for sharing my knowledge about god. It is strange that he is thanking me for something that I did not do. I am not claiming to have knowledge about a being whose existence can't be proved, I am only stating that the characteristics which this god's believers have attributed to him are logically inconsistent with his supposed actions, or lack thereof.
"You begin by insinuating that God is 'omnipresent, then that means he watched Elisabeth Fritzl get tortured and raped for 24 years...,' your words implies God enjoys watching such events."
No, they don't. I have not said anything remotely like that; you are simply putting words (or implications) in my mouth. The believers in god claim that he is omnipresent. If he is omnipresent, then this automatically means that he can see everything, including the torture of innocent people. Is it possible that he could be enjoying watching such events? Sure. Con cannot demonstrate that the opposite is true.
I do not claim to know the mind of this being. I only claim to know the characteristics that have been attributed to this being by his believers (omnipresence, omnibenevolence, omnipotence, etc.) As it turns out, these are characteristics that have actually been attributed to god by his believers.
"Pro went on to say, 'Over the course of our planet's existence, 99% of all species that have ever existed are extinct.' Pro, this is part of evolution, the machinery of God's hand in creation."
If evolution is "the machinery of God's hand in creation", then it is a terrible method of creation and design. Am I not supposed to detect perfection from a perfect being? If I am supposed to detect perfection from a perfect being, then why is his method of creation demonstrably imperfect, seeing as how his supposed omniscience has looked forward to and continues to look forward to the constant annihilation of various species? If I created various forms of life and 99% of these forms went extinct, I would not expect anyone to call me a perfect designer.
"Pro is all over the map, may I say galaxy, by stressing, 'The Andromeda Galaxy is going to collide with our Milky Way in about 3.75 billion years.' Pro, I hope you're not losing sleep over this event. Let me guess, we should 'blame it on' God. The phrase, 'blame it on,' seems to be the political correct response these days. In other words, play the victim card, woe is me, 'blame it on' God for not answering one's prayers."
I am not losing sleep over this event and I have not asserted that we should "blame it on" god. If god exists, and he really has planned everything, as his believers state, then the future Andromeda-Milky Way collision event is automatically his responsibility. There's nothing to blame him for, if this is the case. And as I said before, and I'll repeat myself, I am not losing sleep over this event. I am just pointing out that it is a terrible design.
"Why take Pro down this segment of human history influenced, in part, by the story of 'the god of Abraham?' Unbeknownst to Pro, he is enjoying the miracle from the fruits of technology, food production, and medicine, a result of an institution whose formation was influenced by following the greatness of God's perceived goodness via the story of 'the god of Abraham.' Perhaps, Pro should study the founding of the US, and during that journey, may come to find God."
I would like to point out that nothing about the "philosophical and Constitutional foundations" demonstrate that god is great. I am not "enjoying the miracle from the fruits of technology, food production, and medicine" because the formation of a specific institution was influenced by a god I don't believe in, I am enjoying these things because science has made them accessible to me. The "greatness of god" isn't required.
I fail to see what you are trying to assert when you say that I may be viewed as a "mouth piece for the Devil". Are you asserting that I am influenced by the Devil? If so, then I will concede that this could very well be true. I could be influenced by the Devil, but I doubt that to be the case.
You're absolutely right, I will bounce back with the questions you have just provided. I think the answer to all of these questions is simple: god is not great. If he was great, he would actually help people some of the time.
Where do I draw the line for god to step in? Nowhere, actually. A line need not be drawn. If god existed, it shouldn't be far beyond him to help some of the time. If it is true that this god exists, and if it is true that he is all-loving and perfect, why doesn't he ever help? He wouldn't have to end all suffering, but shouldn't a perfect being help stop a bit of it, especially if it's superfluous?
Again, I say, if this is the best god can do, I'm not impressed. If this universe was designed by god, then he did an awful job designing it.
"...scripture also defines the source of all evil is from the Devil (Pro disagrees with said scripture and 'blames it on' God)"
Not once have I said anything remotely like that. It doesn't matter who the "source of all evil" is. I don't view the concept of the Devil as great, just as I do not view the concept of god as great. But I will say that I do find the Devil to be far less insane and genocidal than god. In scripture, the Devil barely kills anyone, but god seems to go on a constant killing spree. He kills thousands upon thousands of people, according to the scripture.
If the god of Abraham existed, he would not be great. He would be an evil bastard, for the reasons I've stated. Evil bastards aren't great.
"Perhaps, Pro should understand the story of 'the god of Abraham,' and study human nature over the reason why there is evil, while Pro plays the role of 'Devil's advocate' by condemning God."
Perhaps I should understand the story of the god of Abraham, right? Is this not the same story that states that god will send me to hell if I do not believe in and worship him? Again, I ask, this is supposed to be a great being?
Thank you for a very profound discussion, Con.
I see this as a good thing and I too will enjoy, one day, to continue this discussion, if and only if, Pro refrains from referencing God as an "evil bastard" from his following statement:
"If the god of Abraham existed, he would not be great. He would be an evil bastard, for the reasons I've stated. Evil bastards aren't great."
Perhaps, Pro should take a "time out" from God debates. I see the Devil got the best of Pro.
My closing statement will center on a closing point Pro made in the following:
"Again, I say, if this is the best god can do, I'm not impressed. If this universe was designed by god, then he did an awful job designing it."
Pro is now coming down on the existence of our universe being an "awful" design in his last stand to demonstrate "god is not great."
Before condemning the design of the universe, Pro was making a very good argument from man's written scripture of "the god of Abraham," by cherry-picking the concept of "omnipresent," and doing his dance around the evils of humans, and even the climate, on how "god is not great" watching all this happening. Especially, when God refuses to intervene. By the way, if "omnipresent" invites Godly omni-intervention concurrently in time, you will have a paradox in the event-fabric of space time, where the Arrow of Time is in one direction throughout our universe and the result of events have future consequences. http://en.wikipedia.org...
For example, there are often events where two wrongs do make a right. Let's take person B who found himself injured in the wrong place at the wrong time. Person A is pointing a gun at B ready to kill him, but instead decided to do the right thing, relative to his values, by not killing this injured defenseless person. Person A was Henry Tandey, person B was Adolf Hitler, the event was WWI. Many would argue, the world would have been a better place without Adolf Hitler. Only if Henry did the wrong thing, killing an injured defenseless person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Now if God being "omnipresent" is also concurrently being an omni-interventionist will have to experience the events of Hitler, then go back in time, to force Tandey to pull the trigger. This goes against God's Laws of Nature relative to the Arrow of Time in our universe. This concept of "omnipresent" is simply a good example of man's fallible interpretation over this entity call God, and Pro is taking this concept as the foundation to his debate. Please hold on this thought, as I address "omnipresent" from a different vantage point in going forward.
I would be the first to admit that what happened to Elisabeth Fritzl was an awful thing, and if I knew about it, I would have respond to end such event. On the other hand, one cannot overlook the potential social benefits in moral awareness from such an event, having the added benefit of increasing neighborhood sensitivity of the neighbor next door, as it did to myself, resulting in perhaps, the prevention of many future Elisabeth events:
Such terrible events (Hitler, Elisabeth, etc.) provides long term advancement in human social evolution. Evolution, the key to God's design, where we humans are a product of this process, as we slowly travel on the endless road to utopia.
Relative to God's design or creation of the universe, covered in man's written scriptures from "the god of Abraham," simply highlights the Greatness of God as a designer. In the beginning, God defined a set of simple Laws, known today as the Laws of Nature. Then God did the Big Bang ("let there be light") and from pure energy, following those simple Laws, in time came life including humanity. That is an awesome designer transforming pure energy into life.
Technologist today dream of designing a device that converts pure energy into consumable items. Technologist today in cybernetics, dream of designing a robot that is self-aware of its existence having freedom of choice. It would seem technologist of today can only dream of what God has done as they try to duplicate God's work.
Pro started this debate with the hypothesis "in the existence of this god" and his tunnel perception of God's "omnipresent." Expanding on Pro's hypothesis of God's "existence," permit me to add to such "existence" having power beyond human imagination to set the Laws of Nature, starting evolution with a Bang, is an entity that transcends our reality, where humans can't begin to understand. And in the shadow of God's Greatness, Pro and Con, who are both products of said design, enjoying our short vacation from nonexistence, having this freedom to debate in cyberspace, one can only be amazed, when taking a moment, to wonder about one's reality, in a universe with billions of galaxies and some colliding with each other.
Getting back to "omnipresent" let's look at this concept from a different vantage point. After defining the Laws of Nature and setting off the Big Bang, for the most part, God let events go on their random course, unabated by God. I think it was in one of those Christmas movies where I heard the following statement, "what you do onto your neighbor, you do onto me [God];" hence, "omnipresent." That is, at the end of time during "judgment day," God relives every human's life, in all its detail and experience, concurrently; hence, "omnipresent." God can't change those events, because they already happened in the physical domain. Those who are immoral go to hell, those who are moral, party with God forever. Perhaps, Pro could now relax, with this interpretation, sharing Con's view that God is Great.
The beauty of interpreting man's written scriptures about God. Relative to the concept of "omnipresent," Pro and Con's view are both valid because there is no physical metrology yet advance enough to prove otherwise, or to probe other universes, where the spiritual domain and God may reside.
Pro's assumption of "omnipresent" without omni-intervention makes God look bad, the objective of Pro. Where Con's assumption of "omnipresent" in the spiritual domain makes God look good by concurrently reliving the life of all spirits during "judgment day".
The concept of "omnipresent" is a testament to the human mind trying to comprehend such Greatness of God, transcending our current understanding of reality in the physical domain. We have so much to learn, as we unlock the secrets of God's handwriting via the scientific method, while traveling on the road to utopia striving to evolve in the path of "the god of Abraham, towards "the image and likeness of God." http://en.wikipedia.org...
And In closing, until we meet again my Friend Pro, I wish you a healthy "Life," having the freedom ("Liberty"), in the moral "pursuit of Happiness" (God's given Unalienable Rights, which later became the foundation to the US Constitution, inspired by the interpretation of "the god of Abraham").
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Tipped very slightly in Pro's favor, as it was a decision of whether God is universally Great, as in the ability to create universes, or Great in the eyes of Humans (Omniscience, Omnipotence and most importantly Omni-Benevolent), Pro destroyed any chance of God being omni-benevolent, thus God cannot be considered Great to humanity, but still could be considered Great regarding the Cosmos. Though I think Great to humankind is more in line with the Topic, which Pro succeeded in his BOP commitment, demonstrating God is not Benevolent to humans, thus there is no reason for praying to it.
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