The Instigator
pestoroll
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
ADT_Clone
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

theism and atheism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
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It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/28/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 949 times Debate No: 25323
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

pestoroll

Pro

You, the atheist, shall start first:
Why do you believe there is no god?
ADT_Clone

Con

I thank you for the debate and look forward to the discussion we will have.

I will answer the question you meant to ask, as I do not believe there is no God. The term "atheist" implies "a-theist". In other words, without a belief of a divine entity. Atheists by definition do not believe there is no God, they simply don't believe in a God.

Therefore, in answer to the question "Why don't I believe in a God":

There is no good reason to believe in a God.


Question 1

So the first question I will ask in response:

Are there any rational reasons to believe in a God? Is there any evidence to support these reasons? Can you present a logically consistent argument which gives reason to believe in a God?

The burden of proof will be on the Pro to present these reasons, as they are making the positive claim.


Question 2

The second question I will ask in response:

What reasons do you have to not believe(if you don't already believe) that there is a china teapot in an elliptical orbit between the Earth and Mars, so small that it is impossible to observe even with the most powerful telescope? [1]


I look forward to your response. Keep in mind, your reason must be rational, preferablly in the form of an argument.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_teapot
Debate Round No. 1
pestoroll

Pro

Response to question 1:

There are several reasons why I believe there is a god.
1. We lack knowledge in how the universe begin. It is obviously illogical to assume that the universe had no beginning, because if time went infinitely backwards, time would've never reached where we are now. It is theoretically impossible. Can you enlighten me on how the universe began?
2. The pure obvious design of nature. I know it's just an analogy, but if I shook metal pieces around in a barrel for a billion years, I guarantee I wouldn't end up with a wristwatch. And what our universe has created by what you probably think as random chance is far superior than a basic wristwatch.

I will point out some more down the road, but I have a couple of questions for you myself.
1. How did the universe begin?
2. Do you believe objective morals exist?

Answer to question 2:
That is completely different than the idea of a god for several reasons:
No one has claimed that there is, and if they did, they have completely 0 evidence to back it up. At least for the Christians they have a historical figure named Jesus to help back up their story. Along with the Bible, which , correct me if I'm wrong, is amazingly accurate historically.
For me, unitarian universalism is like that teacup. They believe it, but have no evidence. Christianity on the other hand, has evidences.
ADT_Clone

Con

I thank my opponent for his arguments. Unfortunately, the arguments my opponent presented are poor, and in this response, I will seek to display to the audience why they are poor.

My opponent presented two main reasons to believe in a God. I will address them one by one.

"1. We lack knowledge in how the universe begin. It is obviously illogical to assume that the universe had no beginning, because if time went infinitely backwards, time would've never reached where we are now. It is theoretically impossible. Can you enlighten me on how the universe began?"

My simple answer is that I do not know how the universe was created.

One of the prominent scientific theories on the beginning of the universe is the "big bang theory", which states that all matter started from a singularity, a single point, and expanded rapidly approximately 13.75 billion years ago. [1] That does not explain how the universe was initially created, and you have stated that yourself. We do lack knowledge on the actual creation of the universe.

However, you are implicitly stating that God is the reason the universe began, as we simply don't have any other explanation. If this is the argument you are making, it is the argument from ignorance, presenting less options then there actually is. Some of the other options include: the universe just existing, something external to the universe non-personal just existing and causing the creation of the universe, the universe coming from nothing ext.

So therefore, since we don't understand how the universe began, it does not follow that a God must have created it, and hence it is not sufficient justification to believe in a God.

What is your evidence or non-fallacious argument for why God created, or caused the beginning of the universe?

"2. The pure obvious design of nature. I know it's just an analogy, but if I shook metal pieces around in a barrel for a billion years, I guarantee I wouldn't end up with a wristwatch. And what our universe has created by what you probably think as random chance is far superior than a basic wristwatch."

My opponents second argument for God is the "pure obvious design of nature". The only evidence my opponent could give for this assertion is his analogy, which I will now discuss.

My opponent makes the analogy that if he shook a bunch of metal pieces in a barrel for a billion years, he could guarantee he would not end up with a wristwatch(Wrist watches are more than just pieces of metal). [2] I agree with my opponent, it would not create a wristwatch. But my opponent is yet again presenting an argument from ignorance, over simplifying what is actually happening. Atoms are not pieces of metal, molecules are generally not solid pieces of metal, cells are not pieces of metal. They have characteristics that are different from pieces of metal in a barrel. Also, there are environmental effects such as heat, energy, radiation, sunlight ext which come into play. Hence, my opponents analogy is flawed and does not provide any support to his claim of intelligent design.

The theory of evolution is a scientific fact which provides a proper explanation for the complexity and diversity of nature we see today. The basic idea of evolution is that selection pressures are applied to nature by the environment that they live in. These pressures could effect whether something in nature survives or does not survive. Therefore, something in nature with certain traits that gives it a higher chance of surviving than something else of similar species will continue surviving and reproducing with those favourable traits. [3]

Science has evidence through fossil records and other means that demonstrates the process of evolution throughout history. The amount of evidence found in support of the theory of evolution is why it remains a theory and is considered a scientific fact.

Intelligent design however has no proof. As the Pro is the one claiming it, he will need to provide evidence and/or logical arguments for the following two points:

a) Nature was designed by an intelligent designer AND
b) God is this intelligent designer

If my opponent is successful in this, he would have provided evidence for a belief in a God. Until my opponent presents better evidence than a flawed, illogical analogy, he would have not shown this and hence his assertion does not hold.

-----------

I will now answer the questions my opponent has given me.

"1. How did the universe begin?"

I don't know and noone knows how the universe was created. The beginning of the universe however can be described by the big bang theory, which is consistent with all modern observations.

"2. Do you believe objective morals exist?"

No, I do not believe "absolute" morals exist. The reason I use the word absolute, because objectivity can be defined within a scope. For example, a supreme justice needs to be objective. It doesn't mean they need to abide by some absolute law of everything, they just needs to be objective within the scope of their society.

In the same way, I believe we can define objective morals within scopes, ie. our natural desire against murdering someone is an objective moral in the scope of humanity, described by evolutionary morality. If we all had a desire to murder our own kind, this would have reduced our chances of surviving and hence the human species may have died out.

-----------

"Answer to question 2:
That is completely different than the idea of a god for several reasons:

No one has claimed that there is, and if they did, they have completely 0 evidence to back it up. At least for the Christians they have a historical figure named Jesus to help back up their story. Along with the Bible, which , correct me if I'm wrong, is amazingly accurate historically.
For me, unitarian universalism is like that teacup. They believe it, but have no evidence. Christianity on the other hand, has evidences."

Actually Bertrand Russell claimed there was, but I agree with you, they have absolute no evidence to back it up.

However, you claim that Christianity has evidence to back up their God and religion. I disagree, you attempted to provide evidence above, but they were assertions and not only did I provide reasons against them, I demonstrated that even if they were true, they wouldn't be evidence for a God.

You claim that Jesus is a historical figure and the Bible is "amazingly accurate historically". Even if we assume that Jesus did exist, and that the Bible is historically accurate for some events(I don't believe Genesis is historically accurate, along with Noah's flood, or Joah and the fish, but prove me wrong if you wish to), how does that provide evidence for your God?

There are many historically accurate documents from the Egyptians, which talk about mythical Gods and Goddesses. Does that prove they are true? Does the Quran prove that Allah exists?

-----------

In summary, I request that you provide proper evidence of your religion. If you believe the arguments I used against your universe and intelligent design argument are flawed, show me where they are flawed. Alternatively, you can also elaborate and provide proper evidence for those claims you made.

Even if we assume all the claims you made are true, how does that prove a God exists? It does not follow that a God exists and that a belief in a God is justified from intelligent design, the inability to explain the creation of the universe or historical accurate accounts of the Bible. For all we know, it could have been aliens.

My opponent must provide reason and evidence for:

a) The claims he has made AND
b) How a "God" follows from these claims

If he can not do this, there is no rational reason that he has presented to believe in a God.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://www.esquire.com...
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
pestoroll

Pro

pestoroll forfeited this round.
ADT_Clone

Con

As my opponent forfieted this round, the arguments I raised against his are still valid and have not been discarded.

I hope my opponent will respond in his next round, or otherwise it'll be a sign of conceding all of his arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
pestoroll

Pro

pestoroll forfeited this round.
ADT_Clone

Con

As before, my opponent has forfieted again, which I and the audience can safely interpret as conceding the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
pestoroll

Pro

pestoroll forfeited this round.
ADT_Clone

Con

Pro has conceded his argument. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 4 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
I don't agree with you that the "pure" definition of atheism means lacking a belief in God. Definitions of words come entirely from people, and people use the word in BOTH senses. But this is a minor point because as you said your opponent never mentioned the distinction. I think Pro should have made the debate title clearer and should have specified whether he wanted he wanted his opponent to defend positive atheism or just negative atheism.

But actually, even negative atheism, or "pure" atheism as you call it, is not sufficiently defined as simply lacking belief in God, for if that were the case, cows and giraffes would be considered atheists since they lack belief in God, but most people do not consider animals to be atheists. No, even negative atheism must be defined as the conscious denial of the existence of a god. It is not as default as it appears.
Posted by ADT_Clone 4 years ago
ADT_Clone
@CriticalThinkingMachine - That is different to the definition of atheism. The pure definition of the word "atheist" is "a-theist", not theist; without a belief in a God. If my opponent mentioned negative or positive atheism, that would have been a different case.
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 4 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
It was unfair of Pro to ask that Con argue first. Pro is instigating the debate and he shares the burden of proof. He should therefore argue first.

Con says that atheists by definition do not believe there is no God but simply do not believe in God. Apparently he has never heard of "positive atheism." Some atheists lack belief in God (negative atheism) while other atheists believe that there is no God (positive atheism.) [1]

[1] Martin, Michael Atheism: A Philosophical Justification Temple University Press, Philadelphia (1990)
Posted by ADT_Clone 4 years ago
ADT_Clone
http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_teapot

That's the full reference, debate.org cut it off in my argument.
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