The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Winning
33 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Con (against)
Losing
22 Points

god's existence can't be proven

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,872 times Debate No: 2978
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (15)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

Depends on the level of proof you want, and how you define God. But ultimately, if you define God in any meaningful terms, or with substantial level of proof, God's existence cannot be proven.

incidentally. I believe in God's existence, but I don't claim it's definitive proof.
the act of faith -- of its very nature -- involves man's free choice libero arbitrio

CAUSATION
everything we know has a cause. but we also have to recognize that we don't come across God phenomenon everyday, so to speak. if the first cause is God, wouldn't he required a cause too? God doesn't necessarily solve the problem.
if God can just be, the universe can just be.

Atheists often talk about how the spaghetti monster disproves God, cause we could have been formed by it. This is not analogous completely, but it makes an important point. That an intelligence made is is reasonable, that something specific like spaghetti did is random. But, it's still the point that it's arbitrary, like the spaghetti monster, to say intelligence is necessary.

Now, It does make sense say something caused us. If you see a bike rolling, that something pushed it makes sense. Ultimately this analogy does not fly either though, because a bike is specific, whereas the world is something that could have always been. (if god can alway have been, the world could always have been)
So we have the spaghetti monster on the one side and the bike on the other, ha.

In broader terms, there is the argument a fortiori. if there's an unending chain of events back in time, something must have made that chian. perhaps as you were saying, if existance is, even if infinte, it has to be here as an effect of something.
but, as i was saying, not necessarily. If that can just be, so can God.

Some people insist there's "something" that just "has" to be. As Ronald Knox put it, you can add as many links and as large as you like to a chain, but at some point you have to have a peg to hang it on, reiterating the point of an infinite chain argument. Some people like to hang their argument on this "thing" that must just be.
it seems like this peg, or this thing that must just be regardless of existance is just extra fluff that theists use to say he must exist. cause if God an just be, existance can just be.
to say soemthing more needs to be is not necessary. ockham's razor, the simplest solution is prob right.
and even if there was oemthing more, it does't have to be God so much as the fabric of existance. it's just there and just is. that seems like part of existance to me, not soemthing separate from it. to use the metaphor, the peg is part of existance not soemthing separate from it.
and you can call it God, if it's even allowed to be argued that this just being is needed (which i don't think you can do) but that's not saying much.

now, the big bang actually helps verify the dogma of God's existence as certainty, because we stop talking about the never ending chain as much. But was there anything before the big bang? We shouldn't assume so, and if scientists are allowed to make presumptive deductions like this based on observations as a degree of proof, inductive while not deductive, the theologian should be able to too.
So, we see empiracally that there was a first cause, the big bang. if the big bang just happened as it were, is the first particles or group of particles that pushed the next ones then God? Or if it was random chance, is that God? To make God's existence mean anything, that is not God. If you define God as some abstract first cause, you're not defining him as much if it could just be a bunch of particles or random chance.
So if particles and random chance are possible, then God's existence isn't proven. Even if we assume nothing before the big bang.

you'd just be stomping your foot saying that a first cause, ie God, can just be without a cause, cause he's the first cause and can't have a cause before him. it's like a leap of logic that's not necessarily warrnated or based on anything we've seen as humans empiracally.

definitive proof would be proving either logically that there was a first cause, beyond particles and random chance. proving that there wasn't anything before the big bang that went back on and on. as of now we just have evidence for God. like if you see a dark spot, you have evidence that it's a shadow and thus would need an object causing it, but it could also be a natural dark spot where the sun don't shine. (no i'm not saying in anyone's behind.....) i think it'd be techincally inductive proof not deductive.

ORDER AND INTELLIGENCE
same for intelligence. that there is order to hte universe doesn't prove God.
First, you're arguing that something complex, ie existance, was created by something that would be presumably even mroe complex?
where'd complexity of God come? if God complexity can just be, the universe can.
ockham's razor. The simplest solution would be the most probable.

Order could just means that order happened to occur, if we assume random chance and particles.
if you define intelligence as order then sure, but that's not saying much. you have to give the intelligence consciousness to mean anything substantial.

same with somethign complex like a watch. it's just proof, even more proof, but not exhaustive. when you look at something complex like a watch, it didn't spring up out of nowhere. it got here as an end product of earth formation, and evolution, and trial and errors and all that. if it did just spring up, you'd have something.
if life can form from elementary particles, that would eventially give rise to evolution to complexity.

but, order, to the magnitude that exists with humans etc, tends to be almost miraclous to some. i don't think it's unreasonable to argue that order is so complex as to be almost miracalous, and put it in the proof for God category. but, i think that it could have just evolved to what it is supports the no definitive proof argument. the ultimate question remains, that why would something complex require something even more complex?

high order is indicative of "irreducible complexity" see wikipedia, and so inteligent consciousness but not definitively.

----
as a side note... a word on presumptive proof. if a population who has a distinguishing characteristic... say they grow third arms. and the only thing that makes those people different than the population at large is that they believe in God, then it's very good "proof". the flaw in modern atheism is that they say "their mind could be growing the arm and it's related to their belief but that doesn't indicate God". this is true, it's not definitively proven, but the atheistic mindset is not the most obvious. when you see a population, it's the distinguishing thing itself. you could argue the belief is distinguishing, but when something apparently outside occurs, indicates an outside entity, on its face anyway, that's most plausible.
i never hear of flesh growing when it shouldn't on atheists as it does on theists etc. maybe cancer remissions, maybe.
anyway, you could argue that miracles are proof, but, still, why would something complex ie miracles require something even more complex, ie God? This goes with the argument about about order and how it's almost miraclulous…. It's not definitive proof but at least with miracles, it's much closer.
www.nderf.org another presumpive indication of God without explanation.
**remember: you don't presume the least obvious explanation
----

"God as existance". a catharisis so theists can certainly claim God exists. no one would deny existance, rational people anyway. and you can call that God if you want, but it's not sa
Tatarize

Con

Jesus floats down from Heaven over Jerusalem, good Christians start rising into the sky and are assumed to heaven. The Earth turns under Him and while it turns every believer is promptly taken up in the Rapture.

How would that not be proof?

I daresay, even as a rather staunch atheist, that would be remarkable evidence that I am categorically wrong. In fact, I would have about 10 hours before Jesus floats over my area and takes up the believers and would probably be a firm Bible-believing Christian by that point.

---

This idea that there are no possible proofs for the existence of God are nothing more than atheism in agnostic clothing. Stephen Colbert once noted in an interview with Bart Ehrman that agnosticism is just atheism without balls. A meaningful God could very easily demonstrate his existence. "God if you exist make this pencil fall upwards." "Wow, look at that. It fell upwards."

I think the very ideas behind this concept of "defining God in meaningful terms" is an anathema to reasoned discourse. God wasn't defined before? Could we define God as male, female, gender neutral? In fact, a number of people do exactly this.

I once conversed with a theology student who when pressed why God would sacrifice Himself to Himself to accomplish (forgiveness of sins against Him) a task he could have just accomplish directly, he argued that there was some greater law than that of God. When asked why he didn't worship that law or what that law required, or how it came to be, he took a few days and had a few discussions with others to determine that God wasn't actually bound by that law. How do people decide such a things? They just reorder the entire universe in their minds unilaterally without God's permission?

In a discussion about Adam being made in God's image the question arose as to if God had a penis and, if so, what was it's purpose. Initially the individual agreed that God had a penis, then had second thoughts and removed God's penis from him. Why, can this be done? Why do the definitions ebb and flow like the tide? This entire debate pretty well presupposes the non-existence of God. You can define God, pick and choose what's true or false, and there's no objective thing these beliefs apply to as to enable us to find that they do not perfectly describe the qualities of this deity.

Now to the argument at hand. You argue that if God is defined in any meaningful way, then God's existence cannot be proven. I categorically disagree. If we were to define a God and have a concrete definition of this God rather than the typical wishy-washy impossible to pin down understanding typically used we would be overwhelmed with ways to prove the existence of God.

* If we were to define God as caring who answers prayers of devout believers we could do a very basic test of statistics to see that far fewer than 100% of prayers are answered and, in fact, no statistically significant occurrences happen with or without prayer.

* If we could define God to be all-powerful and all-good then we could find a contradiction if there were suffering or evil present anywhere in this world.

* If we defined God as just and punishments for non-belief strict we would expect that unbelief would be completely unreasonable, completely unjustified, and this debate would be trivially false.

* If we could define God as the pantheists do, as the universe and all phenomena within it (which I contend is a meaningful definition even if I disagree with its application), then we could show that God exists as easy as we show the universe exists.

* If we define God as Jesus accurately described in the Bible, who said that before everybody in a crowd of first century Israel would not perish before the second coming occurred, we could see failure in that prophecy and in that God. As the oldest individuals alive today are only as far into their second century as I am into my first, a far cry short of the several thousand years so required to hold out hope.

You stated in your opening that it "Depends on the level of proof you want, and how you define God. But ultimately, if you define God in any meaningful terms, or with substantial level of proof, God's existence cannot be proven."

I'm sorry, but the exact opposite is true! The meaninglessness of the definition is the only saving grace of this supposed Saving Grace. Any "meaningful" definition would be far enough from wishy-washy as to be scientifically relevant and subject to evidence. It is only these definitions of pathetic gods who cower just beyond the relevance of our world which are meaningless and unprovable. The claims made by swaths of supporters and by the Bible are testable. If we have a concrete meaningful definition, then we have a concrete meaningful test.

Agnosticism (even theistic agnosticism on your part) is unjustified for the great majority of these gods. You can test the claims made, the prophecies fulfilled, the abilities thereof, and find these deities wanting and contrary to the observed reality of our existence. It is rather, the constant redefinition of God, which narrowly escapes proof. The apologists waiting in the wings to invent new qualities or banalities to deities do so avoid subjecting beliefs to reason. They would far prefer to settle for a meaningless God than a nonexistent one. Meaningful gods are crushed by science like snakes in the cradle of Hercules. Meaningless gods attempt to slither out of this universe to be justified by the flawed logic and pathetic rhetoric.

If a meaningful God existed, we'd easily show this to be the case. Any relevant God could demonstratively be shown to exist. We are forced to conclude that god is irrelevant either through non-existence or non-interference. Even if, God were so defined, to be non-existent or non-interfering wouldn't that be the very definition of meaningless.

You say that the existence of a meaningful God cannot be proven? To which I ask, which God?

---

* Faith is meaningless. At the core, faith is nothing more than a flawed epistemology and a way of accepting things which are unacceptable by the evidence alone. Believing false things, in all cases, requires a degree of faith; properly viewed, the evidence always attests to truth.

* The cosmological argument, that everything has a cause and therefore the universe has a cause is certainly flawed. Any loophole to stop the infinite regression could better be applied to the universe rather than the supposed God. Also, there's no need for a God because a flying spaghetti monster fits the bill just as well. This doesn't disprove God, but shows that the argument is either flawed of the flying spaghetti monster exists.

* It is simply a good insight that looking for causes is a productive use of our time. However, we have found in a number of fields (biological sciences, quantum mechanics, and cosmology) that there does not always need to be a cause. It is simply a good rule of thumb, rather than a law of nature.

* The big bang doesn't really suggest much about causes. It could be that something caused the Big Bang, but it could also be that it just happened. Such are the possibilities.

* As for order in the universe, there is a good deal of it. Order exists as a consequence of just bare statistics and quickly arises out of disorder. If there's a fifty-fifty that a particle will breakdown in a given amount of time, the purest form of random we could fathom, then we can and do use this with staggering regularity to make very accurate predictions about large numbers of particles (half of which will be gone in that given amount of time / half-life). The universe is disordered with amazing regularity, even entropy is conserved.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.
Tatarize

Con

God's existence can be proven, if God is defined in meaningful terms. It is common to define God so wishy-washy and in nonsensical terms to allow for agnosticism on the issue and simply equivocate the meaningless God thusly defined as a meaningful one. Such conclusions are unwarranted and unneeded.

--

* If we were to define God as caring who answers prayers of devout believers we could do a very basic test of statistics to see that far fewer than 100% of prayers are answered and, in fact, no statistically significant occurrences happen with or without prayer.

* If we could define God to be all-powerful and all-good then we could find a contradiction if there were suffering or evil present anywhere in this world.

* If we defined God as just and punishments for non-belief strict we would expect that unbelief would be completely unreasonable, completely unjustified, and this debate would be trivially false.

* If we could define God as the pantheists do, as the universe and all phenomena within it (which I contend is a meaningful definition even if I disagree with its application), then we could show that God exists as easy as we show the universe exists.

* If we define God as Jesus accurately described in the Bible, who said that before everybody in a crowd of first century Israel would not perish before the second coming occurred, we could see failure in that prophecy and in that God. As the oldest individuals alive today are only as far into their second century as I am into my first, a far cry short of the several thousand years so required to hold out hope.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

God's existence can be proven, if God is defined in meaningful terms. It is common to define God so wishy-washy and in nonsensical terms to allow for agnosticism on the issue and simply equivocate the meaningless God thusly defined as a meaningful one. Such conclusions are unwarranted and unneeded.

--

* If we were to define God as caring who answers prayers of devout believers we could do a very basic test of statistics to see that far fewer than 100% of prayers are answered and, in fact, no statistically significant occurrences happen with or without prayer.

* If we could define God to be all-powerful and all-good then we could find a contradiction if there were suffering or evil present anywhere in this world.

* If we defined God as just and punishments for non-belief strict we would expect that unbelief would be completely unreasonable, completely unjustified, and this debate would be trivially false.

* If we could define God as the pantheists do, as the universe and all phenomena within it (which I contend is a meaningful definition even if I disagree with its application), then we could show that God exists as easy as we show the universe exists.

* If we define God as Jesus accurately described in the Bible, who said that before everybody in a crowd of first century Israel would not perish before the second coming occurred, we could see failure in that prophecy and in that God. As the oldest individuals alive today are only as far into their second century as I am into my first, a far cry short of the several thousand years so required to hold out hope.
----------------

you say we can define God in meaningful terms and prove him, and then go on to disprove him.
i don't think it's possible for you to do both.
plus, defining him and then disproving him, even at your best argument, was, actually, my premise.... if we define God in any meaningful terms, his existance cannot be proven.
i'll take your disproves as arguments in my favor that most meaningful definitions don't fly. (or at least very well... i think some points could be argued for things such as why evil exists with a good God, but that's not really the subject of htis debate)

intelligence is all i need to show a possible attribute of God that you haven't disproven, but that is plausible. (just not proven) so that there's no attributes that can even be considered, and that God's existance must be necessarily concluded, is false.
even richard dawkins doens't say God doesn't exist. (just like i don't say the spaghetti monster doens't exist,,, noting i think these anaolgies are more different than the same, but)

plus your other problem is that you say you are proving God by defining him, which is not a proof but merely an absotraction, like a square is a circle.

the context of my opening statement i think was pretyt clear, that when you do define God in meaningful terms, it must be provable. this hasn't been shown, and you haven't shown it, but in fact seem to agree, with ocnfusion in how you're conflating defining an abstraction with proof and also seem to be trying to conclude that even considering God is wrong.

i think what your motive is, is that you want to argue that agnostics are really athesits without balls. i think my disclaimer on this "presumptive proof" that i qualifeid at the end refutes being atheistic. now, this is something that a jury were it to decide could be split on, so i don't think i've refuted it per se, objectively end of discussion. but anyway, this stuff isn't the point of my debate, but id be glad to debate you on it elsewhere.
Tatarize

Con

Yes, my point is that defined in meaningful ways the proposition of God is falsifiable. We can prove or disprove God depending on the data. It only seems that several of those meaningful Gods were disproved as such because they tend to get proven false when they are falsifiable. My contentions on this point are two fold:
1) Proving God existence false is still proving God's existence one way or another. Your primary claim may be seen as an objection to falsifiability that it is impossible to prove the existence of God in any way. Whereas in reality we can prove it either true or false, if God is defined in meaningful ways. Most iterations are proven false in such a context because, if there is a God, it isn't that one.
2) You still *could* run into a meaningful definition (such as pantheist) where God's existence is verified. Simply failing many definitions is not a valid argument for agnosticism.

Meaningful definitions might be proven true, depending on whether that meaningful definition correlates with an existing God. Faulting the meaningful definition of the attributes of God because it has yet to prove a God is uncalled for... it allows for the existence of God to be proven.

Further, clearly meaningful definitions are going to largely relate to different incarnations of God. As such, one could only expect most of them to fail. They can't all succeed without proven the existence of mutually exclusive gods. However, I should remind you one of my definitions was a proof of the existence of the Pantheist god.

--

How does proving intelligence relate to your case? In fact, your previous argument seemed to be a pretty good argument against intelligence. Sure, if you define God as the intelligence used to create lifeforms you have a fairly meaningful definition. I don't get the point to your argument here. If I concede the point and accept that that is proof for the existence of God then I apparently win the argument. You would thusly prove the existence of God and prove that the existence of God can be proven.

--

Richard Dawkins doesn't believe in God and things the proposition is quite likely false. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is assembled to show that the same logic that allows one to continue believing in an analogous God is flawed as you should also believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If God is completely unproven and unprovable, then you're in the same boat as the Pastafarians. You seem to hold that you find God as likely as the FSM, which is suppose to be the conclusion. However, you're suppose to find them equally impossible.

--

I was not proving God by definition. Arguments which do that are usually the ontological argument redux. Those aren't meaningful definitions by any stretch. If you look back at the definitions of gods I gave, you'll find they aren't contradictory and are gods which could be (and are) believed in.

--

A meaningful God is provable. In fact, it's a consequence of how I'm using the word 'meaningful'. If there is some falsifiable understanding which could be tested and not just change with the apologetics then there is clearly a meaningful definition. Those definitions are falsifiable and they do allow God's existence to be proven -- typically false. However, that shouldn't be discouraging or by any stretch prove that there is no God because a large section of meaningful definitions are false.

The only way you can successfully prove your case is by showing that there is no way that any meaningful definition of God could correlate with reality. In short, you need to prove the non-existence of God, or at the very least prove the non-existence of all meaningful gods.

--

I did have a side note against the position of agnosticism. Which, if you are to accept the above position requires. If God is unprovable then agnosticism is unwarranted. I think that if God talks to you, proves his power to you and asks for your belief, that that suffices as a proof of God's existence. As such, agnosticism is unwarranted as any number of meaningful gods could exist.

I read your note on presumptive proof. Frankly, it didn't seem to make any points about the topic. It also seemed to make some odd claims about third arms or whatnot. It also included oddities like the presumption that miracles are more complex than God.

--

The existence of meaningful gods can be proven -- so far they have been proven false, but perhaps sometime there will be a meaningful definition of God which succeeds. Save my opponent having disproving the existence of all possible meaningful gods, I do not see how her argument succeeds.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by bobsatthepub 8 years ago
bobsatthepub
Haha
Beautiful beem0r

on another note

"The following exception(s) occurred:

1. Your comments don't appear to be grammatically correct. Try adding more content to your comments."

pfft
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
There have been many religious texts before and after the bible.

Also, if the only thing keeping you from killing someone is the fear of hell, you need some serious help. You would be what we call a psychopath.
Posted by Mr.ROdr1duez 8 years ago
Mr.ROdr1duez
Your rite besides the point That God Gave us the bible. The Bible teaches you what not 2 do and what u can do...HE teaches Good while the things of earth teaches evil....Think about it even though someone cannot prove with a picture or a recording of his greatness, he lets you choose if u want to have faith...Because the only thing keeping me from killing someone with all my heart or suicide is him his fate the fear of going to hell...
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
I'll take it sometime this week if no one else does.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Nice job. Good luck finding an opponent. It's nice to hear from an honest believer who realizes that belief in god is not a result of objective reasoning.
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Reasons for voting decision: ff, arguments still strong tho
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