The Instigator
bfritts5
Con (against)
The Contender
TheMorningsStar
Pro (for)

Do you believe in God? Why?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,109 times Debate No: 109337
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (16)
Votes (0)

 

bfritts5

Con

I don't really know if there is a God because
a) I don't believe God would put us on earth and then send us to hell because we didn't do what he wanted.
b) The bible seems like bullcrap... just read it
c) If God is all powerful and all knowing, why doesn't he stop bad things?
TheMorningsStar

Pro

I assume first round is acceptance (as is common from the debates I have seen on this site), so... I accept
Debate Round No. 1
bfritts5

Con

My arguments are above I guess for now...
TheMorningsStar

Pro

Opening Argument

Take note, the debate is about the existence of "a God" as stated by my opponent in the first round. Putting "a" in front of the word "God" makes it about gods in general, not about any specific god. So, this is how I will address this debate, over gods in general.

Furthermore, it is not necessary to prove that god(s) exist beyond doubt. The resolution is "Do you believe in God? Why?" So no, it is not. As Pro I must show that I do believe in god(s) and Con must show that I do not (kritic, I know, but oh well). With said resolution all I have to do is say, "Yes, I do believe in God(s)" and then give my explanation. So... Yes, I do believe in the existence of god(s), and here are some reasons why:

Argument from Historical Analysis

I apologize in advance if this argument doesn't present well, it is my first time trying to write it down instead of talking about it in an actual dialogue.
I am sure that my opponent will agree that the field of historical study is a valid field of study, I think this is pretty much an uncontested point. So, looking at history, can we establish the existence of any god(s) in a similar way that we can establish the existence of historical events or people? I believe we can.

For example, it is not really contested that Gilgamesh, for example, is a historical person, even if events of his life are debated, yet what evidence do we have that Gilgamesh existed? His epic, a piece of work that historians view as clearly fantastical, his name mentioned in a list of kings (which also claims he ruled for over 100 years!), . This is all it took to establish Gilgamesh as a historical person despite one of those two pieces of evidence, the more extensive one, clearly describing him in a way that does not match that of a normal human (it clearly states he is 2/3 god among other things) that was an oral story for centuries before being written down, and the other piece merely listing his name, where he ruled, and for how long (which is an absurd amount of time). There are other pieces that are sometimes used that also are found in legends centuries after he died.

The reason this is commonly thought of as being enough evidence is that enough evidence has been found to establish the existence of En-me-barage-si, the king of Kish and, according to some poems, fought a war with Gilgamesh.
The issue is, that same list also has many beings thought of as myth ruling on earth for thousands of years. In favt, En-me-barage-si, despite being on that list, was still thought of as mythical until further evidence was found.

This is enough evidence to establish that Gligamesh existed in historical study, and this is not an uncommon amount of evidence for establishing the existence of people or events in ancient historical study.
And if this is enough to establish that Gilgamesh existed, even if it isn't enough to estbalish many details about him, then what we have about certain anceint gods should certainly be enough to estbalish they existed.

Look at many ancient figures we see as historians of their time, whose work we rely on for historical information, from Jospehus, to some Ancient Greek scholars, etc. These people often listed gods in their work as beings that existed. We also have many ancient accounts of people who say they saw these gods, historical events that we know happened where some of the earliest accounts about them involve the gods.

Often in historical study the supernatural is easily dismissed because of religious bias, the view that the supernatural elements in one religions writings are true while they are false in other religious writings, yet a more Omnistic view gets rid of this problem, a view that is actually expressed in pretty much every ancient religion. The Greeks had the Agnostos Theos, a "god" representing all the gods they didn't know about yet (which some view as including gods of other cultures), the Romans constantly acknoweldged the existence of the gods of the people they took over, the Ancient Hebrews acknowledged the existence of other gods as well (Exodus 12:12 for example acknowledges that the Egyptian gods exist). Other gods were often thought of as real, even sometimes as gods that did some level of good, from those that would be biased against them (for example, the Saga of the Greenlanders, biased towards Christianity, acknowledges that a prayer to Thor gave them food in the winter). Hell, we even have embarassing stories about the gods that people actively believed in, not just acknolwedgements that other gods also existed and helped their worshipers (many Greek stories involving the gods have these), so the Criteria of Embarassment would also point towards the existence of the gods.

Taking this view gets rid of many of these contradicitions, as now we can simply take the view that cultures would be biased towards their god(s), and works just as well, if not better, with historical analysis as it makes it so we can stop assuming that those people we find intelligent (Greek philosophers, Chinese philosophers, etc.) or whose accounts we rely on (Ancient Historians) are ignorant yet dependable sources of information. If we take the view that the supernatural may be possible, then we have ample historical evidence to suggest that the gods easily could exist. Only if we take the view that the supernatural is impossible (a clearly biased view to have as it automatically discredits some conclusions, even if said conclusions are parsimonious) then we may be able to dismiss the existence of gods, but such a view must first be justified.

This also helps show us that the historical evidence for the existence of many gods far exceeds evidence for the existence of some figures like Gilgamesh, Socrates, etc.

Argument from Subjectivity

This argument is moreso an argument that an individual can rationally believe in the existence of something while at the same time a different individual can rationally believe the opposite. While this does not actually work in establishing that god(s) objectively exist, we must look at the resolution itself. It is about personal belief, not about estbalishing things objectively.

So the question for this arugment is simple, is it possible to have knowledge without the ability to share said knowledge? Yes it is.
I am sure that you, the reader, would say that you have conscious experience (just as I would say that). This is something that you KNOW. Yet, can you actually share this knowledge with anyone? How can anyone be sure you are not, in fact, a P-Zombie (or something similar to a P-Zombie)?
The knowledge of one being a conscious entity is an example of knowledge that cannot be shared.
Is it, therefore, inconveivable that one can have knowledge of other things without being able to share said knowledge?
If so, then they can rationally believe in such things while someone else can rationally reject it, as the type of knowledge cannot be shared.

So, considering that this debate is on a personal level (Do I believe in God), this argument can be used to show that I not only do believe in god(s), but that it is a possibility for me to rationally believe in god(s) without the ability to demonstrate their existence.

Conclusion

With the resolution being a question of if I believe in god(s), I have answered in the affirmative and given some of the reasons I do believe.

Now, I am not against continuing a discussion about these arguments and talking about whether a god does exist or not with the rest of the debate rounds, so long as it is acknowledged what the resolution actually is and that I have fulfilled my burden of proof in this round. Thus, if we are to use the rest of the rounds to discuss this, it would not actually reflect who wins the debate or not.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
missmedic
You are mistaken if you think belief requires proof. God and gods make no practical difference in our world, so neither the existence nor the non-existence of gods is important, thus neither belief in nor denial of gods is important.
Posted by TheMorningsStar 3 years ago
TheMorningsStar
I never made the claim that "my god exists", I stated that "gods exist". Not all gods that exist are ones I like, and I have given an argument already (the historic argument) that you haven't actually refuted. If it helps, here is a more condensed version I made for Envisage to rebut (http://www.debate.org...).

Furthermore, you have made the claim that "Humans have invented thousands of gods over thousands of years and all have been myths". This isn't just dismissal of the claim that there are gods (which wouldn't require a burden of proof), but the assertion that it is the case that there exist thousands of gods invented by people that are all myths. This assertion, therefore, is not just a dismissal of a claim but a claim in and of itself, and thus requires a burden of proof.
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
missmedic
Gods exist on belief alone, so saying my god exist is "Quite the claim"
Gods become myths when belief stops. Conversely belief does not make something real.
Posted by TheMorningsStar 3 years ago
TheMorningsStar
"Humans have invented thousands of gods over thousands of years and all have been myths."

Quite the claim. Can you back it up?

"One need not own beliefs of any kind to establish scientific facts, observe and enjoy nature, or live a productive, moral, and useful life."

I completely agree. Morality, ultimately, doesn't come from religion and science deals purely with the physical world and how it works, which mostly means you can ignore religion entirely.

This doesn't actually prove your point though.
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
missmedic
Argument from Historical Analysis;
Humans have invented thousands of gods over thousands of years and all have been myths.
One need not own beliefs of any kind to establish scientific facts, observe and enjoy nature, or live a productive, moral, and useful life.
Posted by TheMorningsStar 3 years ago
TheMorningsStar
Well, this sucks. Forfeit glitch preventing me from getting my 3rd debate finished...
Posted by bfritts5 3 years ago
bfritts5
sorry completely forgot about this
Posted by TheMorningsStar 3 years ago
TheMorningsStar
I would love a discussion, but after the debate. I would rather it be just bfritts5 and me for now. Afterwards I would be happy to have a discussion with you on the topic.
Posted by Lathian3 3 years ago
Lathian3
Personally I am a Christian. That said, there are many things that are misunderstood about Christianity and cover many of the topics asked about in this debate. I am not an expert, however I think I do have information that would be helpful for both sides or to anyone spectating. If you have an open mind I would be happy to discuss some of these questions and explain why I believe the way I do. I will not force my beliefs on you as I am only trying to spread what I have learned. I would prefer to make a conversation out of it rather than a debate because we would only be able to cover a single topic as a debate but I'm not opposed to it either. If you are interested please feel free to send me a message.
Posted by TheMorningsStar 3 years ago
TheMorningsStar
"What about the religions that contradict each other? How do you go about that?"

This only happens due to bias or misunderstanding.
Either the people writing the stories are biased and so they write their god(s) as being better than they are or baised so they write other god(s) as being worse than they are.
Furthermore, there could also be misunderstanding.
For example, just because one god has some level of dominion over an element doesn't mean they are the only god with that dominion.

But this could be discussed in the debate rounds and, if you have further questions, we can discuss this in a PM.
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