The Instigator
byaka2013
Con (against)
The Contender
Jerry947
Pro (for)

Is God Real?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/24/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 764 times Debate No: 101365
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)

 

byaka2013

Con

The burden of proof is upon my contender, but I shall point out how there is literally no evidence for the existence of any God and how evolution is fact. Provide evidence as necessary and I will make my rebuttal. Thank you to the participants.
Jerry947

Pro

The Cosmological Argument:

a. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.

Pretty self-explanatory...

b. The universe began to exist.

Modern science supports that the universe had a beginning. For example, the second law of thermodynamics helps us figure out that the universe is running out of energy (hence heading towards a heat death). In an eternal universe, it would have run out of energy by now. So since this hasn't happened, we know that the Universe had a beginning. Also, there is the discovery of red-shift in 1929. Basically, this discovery showed us that the universe is expanding which means if you were to go back in time, the universe would shrink and shrink until you get this infinite point. William Lane Craig says it better, he states that "as one traces the expansion back in time, the universe becomes denser and denser until one reaches a point of infinite density from which the universe began to expand."

c. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence
d. Since no scientific explanation (in terms of physical laws) can provide a causal account of the origin of the universe, the cause must be personal (explanation is given in terms of a personal agent).
God is the best explanation for the existence of the universe.

The Axiological Argument:

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.

Since this premise is generally not disputed, I will only give a quick defense of it. Objective morals have to come from an objective source and that source can only be God. Nothing/nobody else could produce an objective moral code.

2. Objective moral values do exist.

a. Since we know what is absolutely wrong, there must be an absolute standard of rightness.

Murder is an action that all people (insane people are the exception) recognize as absolutely wrong. Taking the life of a human being unjustly is undeniably wrong and everybody knows it. That said, if we know what is wrong, we must have some idea of what is right. For example, if someone were to say that 2+2 were equal to five, we would know that they were wrong. But in order to know that, we would have to have some idea of what the right answer was.

b. If there wasn't a Moral Law, then we wouldn't make excuses for violating it.

We have all done something wrong at some point in our lives. It is interesting to note that we always try to make excuses for violating the moral law. But if there was no objective moral law, then we would not feel the need to apologize to people when we hurt them. For example, if I were to say some harsh words to a family member of mine, I might try to offer them excuses like "I was hungry."

However, if morality was subjective, and there was no right/wrong, we wouldn't feel the need to to say sorry whenever we did something "wrong". In fact, lets say that I owed a person money. I wouldn't have any moral reason to pay them back. The person I owed money to merely would have a different opinion of what morality was than me. And since there would be no objective moral standard, I would be perfectly justified in not paying him back.

But this is all ridiculous since we all are aware of the same objective moral law. And that is why we make excuses for violating it and that is the reason why we just know when someone wrongs us.

c. All people really do know that a standard of right/wrong exist.

Most people have an idea of what is right and wrong. Now some people might argue that there is no such thing as objective morality or a real right and wrong. But the people that argue this always go back on their claim a moment later (Lewis 6). The same people that say that morality is opinion based (or subjective) would still be irritated at people for treating them poorly. I can imagine that my opponent would be irritated if the voters gave me all the votes merely because they liked my username better than his. He would certainly feel wronged. But the thing is, if morality was subjective, no one should ever feel wronged. Why would someone feel wronged if morality was based on opinions?

Sometimes people try to argue that morality is created by societies. But we also understand that there are societies that have condoned evil practices when in fact people know that the society was wrong. For example, W. H. Auden, a famous 20th century poet, said that "there had to be a reason Hitler was utterly wrong." Auden said this famous quote after going to a theater that showed pictures of the Holocaust. These pictures sickened him and made him rethink his worldview. Before watching these pictures, Auden believed that it was up to the society to decide what was right and wrong. But during his time at the theater he realized that if societies decided what was right and wrong, and if morality is subjective, this would mean that Hitler was justified in everything he did. Well, at least according to that society. And who are we to tell them they are wrong if morality is purely subjective?

d. If there is no objective morality, there is no reason to be moral. If there was no objective standard of right/wrong, then all we would have is peoples opinions. Our opinion on morality would be like our opinion on what the best flavor of ice cream is. It just would not matter If we did something that people thought was wrong since there would be no objectively wrong things in the first place.

Some may argue that they are moral to benefit society. The problem with this response is that benefiting society is part of what it means to be moral. The question "why be moral" and "Why benefit society" are almost the same question. Benefiting society is a moral thing to do...but we want to know why someone should be moral if there is no objective morality.

Another objection would be that morality is merely an instinct. The problem with this claim is that people have different instincts which would make morality subjective. And again, if morality is subjective, we could never tell people that they are doing something wrong. Another problem with this argument is that morality is usually that thing that decides between which instincts to follow. For example, if a person were to hear a gun shot and a cry for help, people would most likely have two instincts. One would be to run away from danger; another instinct would be to run to help the person. Morality might push a person to choose the weaker instinct, which is to choose to help the person instead of saving themselves.

3. Therefore, God exists.

The Ontological Argument:

1. It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

-The previous two arguments indicate that God's existence is at least possible. If my opponent disagrees, he will have to show that God's existence is impossible.

2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

-A possible world is a world that could have existed instead of our own. So, if it is possible that a God exists, then God does exist in some possible world.

3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

-Maximally great beings would not be maximally great if they weren't omnipresent.

4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

5. If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.
Debate Round No. 1
byaka2013

Con

A through C of the Cosmological Argument make perfect valid sense. The problem is in D. There is a scientific explanation, which we call the Big Bang. However, you may ask what happened before this and we don't know. But if I were to ask this to a typical creationist, they would say God was always there. So which one sounds more wise and makes more sense? God is not the best explanation as there is still no evidence.
Axiological: The problem with this is that it requires a pre existing belief in God, using the assumption found in 1. What leads you to the conclusion that objective moral values do exist? There are no true objective morals. To counter 2a, imagine a world where the majority of people are 'insane' (ie they think murder is ok). In their world, you and I would both be considered insane. So there's no objective basis. The only reason we feel sorry is because society has implanted this into our minds. But before that was fact, our neolithic ancestors did not need to feel sorry if they killed someone. It was just a basic survival tactic.
Ontological: Again there is some assumption that it is possible for God to exist. Look at this argument: Would you say it is valid to claim evidence for God is that we are so complex it couldn't have happened by chance? If so, you mentioned how nothing is greater than its cause- so God is obviously more powerful than us. This also means he is more complex. So, using your own logic something must've created God, so we are now in a paradox. You can't just have assumptions that it is possible. Wouldn't a being be moreso maximally great if they were omnipresent, such as being visible? Then why can't we see any God?

In addition to this, I do not know if you believe in the following, but I shall disprove them regardless.
Miracles and prayer- there are no well attested miracles with enough witnesses. Most times something happened was likely entirely coincidental, and also people tend to forget the millions of times where this sort of prayer work fails.
Some people say it is better to be religious, as if you are Christian and get it right, you get rewarded (Heaven. However, not necessarily true- what about other religions or denominations of your own?). But if you're wrong, nothing. Atheists get no reward and either punishment or nothing. Wouldn't an omniscient, omnipotent being be able to tell you took the safe way out? The cowards way, purely out of fear?

Another annoying thing is the way people interpret certain sections. How are you supposed to choose what to interpret literally and what not?
Lots of people have mentioned the Second Law of Thermodynamics, including yourself. This law does not prove much, but some people say it disproves evolution due to the entropy. But this law only works for closed systems, which the Earth is not. Is the universe? With a God watching over things, it is. So pick a side and do not contradict yourself.
Thank you.
Jerry947

Pro

The Cosmological Argument:

My opponent claims that the first three premises of this argument are valid. This means that my opponent agrees that the universe had a cause. The universe is composed of matter, space, time, and energy. This means that the cause must be outside of those things. In other words, the cause must be immaterial, spaceless, timeless, and very powerful. This cause perfectly describes God. My opponent then brings up the Big Bang. I do not have any issue with the Big Bang. The theory strongly supports that the universe came into existence out of nothing. The obvious question is, what caused this to happen? The Big Bang does not attempt to answer this question. Many atheists suggest that the universe popped into existence out of nothing. I find this to be absurd. It is much more plausible that someone brought the universe into existence. After-all, if no matter, space, time, or energy existed before the Big Bang, then what naturalistic cause could the universe have? The answer is that a naturalistic cause couldn't have caused the universe to exist since nature didn't even exist yet. In order to reject this argument, my opponent will need to either reject that God is the cause of the universe or will have to put forth a naturalistic explanation. Good luck Con...

The Axiological Argument:

My opponent first asserts that my argument requires a pre-existing belief in God. This is not true at all. I have only argued that objective morality could not exist without God. This premise is not challenged by most in the atheistic community and it makes sense logically. Humans may have opinions on what is right, but their opinion isn't objective. Therefore, objective morality could not be produced by humans. Objective morality must come from being that could produce such a thing. God is the only being that could do this. So, the question is: "Does objective morality exist?" My opponent claims that there are no objective morals and asks why I believe in them. Well, my opponent apparently didn't read the second premise of my argument. I have already covered all of that. My opponent is free to respond to it when they feel like it.

My opponent then asks me to imagine some imaginary world where the majority of people are insane. My opponent even notes that "they think murder is okay." Wait a minute, didn't my opponent just claim that there "are no true objective morals?" If there is no objective morality, then murder would not be objectively wrong. So, why does my opponent say that people think that murder is okay? According to my opponent's argument, murder isn't right or wrong if there is no such thing as objective morality. It seems that my opponent's argument is contradictory.

My opponent also brings up neolithic ancestors. I don't really understand their point here. While it is true that people have done immoral things, what does that have to do with the existence of objective morality?

The Ontological Argument:

My opponent asserts that "there is some assumption that it is possible for God to exist." This is just wrong. I even pointed out that my first two arguments suggest that God's existence is at least possible. For example, even if my opponent rejects that the universe was caused by God, he could at least acknowledge that he is a possible timeless, spaceless, immaterial, cause of the universe. And if my opponent denies that God's existence is at least possible, he will need to show that God's existence is impossible. Again, good luck with that Con...

It was also stated that "using your own logic something must've created God, so we are now in a paradox." That is completely untrue. My opponent admits that the universe had a cause. I have pointed out that the cause would have been outside of time since it created time. Therefore it follows that the cause of the universe is timeless. And eternal beings/things do not have causes. My opponent then asserts that "Wouldn't a being be moreso maximally great if they were omnipresent, such as being visible?" Again, the cause of the universe caused all the matter that currently exists. Therefore, the cause is immaterial. In other words, no matter exists outside of the universe, therefore the cause is immaterial. That is why my opponent cannot see God at this exact moment. That said, I am not arguing that God is never visible to mankind. But that is a sole separate topic.

As for your other objections, I will address them later. I want to make sure that I get this in on time.
Debate Round No. 2
byaka2013

Con

The Cosmological Argument is flawed in that it requires a sort of regress. A causes B, which causes C, etc. This makes the unwarranted assumption that God is somehow immune to this regress. But let"s allow this. OK, but simply that we need one is no reason to make the necessary God. There is no reason to make Him omnipotent.

Speaking of omnipotence, I"m sure you"ve heard of the omnipotence paradox. Basically, can God create a stone so heavy He cannot lift it? Regardless, this disproves omnipotence but does not disprove the existence of God. So let"s move on.

The fact is we don"t know what came before the Big Bang. God is just an excuse for you to not have to admit you don"t know (you being in reference to all Christians).

Now, what makes you think God grants this objective morality (which neither proves nor disproves the existence of God). Why are humans incapable of producing some objective morality? Society as a whole can easily do this- for example, if society suddenly decided the $ had no value, it simply wouldn"t. We can make our own rules. There is no need to apologize- society has just put these rules forth- and we followed.

Your next point was again about objective morality. There is a reason I put insane in quotes. I had to give an example, so I chose that as it is relatable for most people. And, no, I am not claiming it is intrinsically evil- it"s not. But *society* does. Currently, our world deems it as unacceptable. Thus there is no contradiction.

What I was saying about the neolithic ancestors is that these rules are not constant and these morals are a quite recent invention. Do they have to be invented by humans, or were they "discovered"?

Ontological: I literally claimed there is some possibility, and you are acting as though I did not. To me, it is obvious nothing is impossible. That in itself is paradoxical. But Richard Dawkins cites this as proof God does NOT exist:

The creation of the world is the most marvelous achievement imaginable (at least impressive)
The greater the disability/ handicap of the creator, the more impressive the achievement.
The most formidable handicap would be non existence.
Let us suppose that the universe is a product of one who created everything while not existing.
A nonexistent God would be an even more formidable creator.
Ergo God does not exist.

Strangely, all your arguments seem to work for every other religion/ god. What makes it the Christian one? If I couldn't see God right now, then how do some people have experiences where "God talks with them"?

Questions for creationists/ Christians:
Why do good faithful people die in natural disasters?
Again, how do you interpret which sections of the Bible to interpret literally and which not?
If God made us in his image, why do we have vestigial body parts, and organs that often fail?
Is it possible prayer is coincidental?

Life doesn"t really have any (known) meaning. If there was "life" after death (Heaven and Hell), life would have even less meaning than it has now. Is it possible for life to have negative or less than zero meaning? No!

Sources

The God Delusion
The arrogant website: https://godisimaginary.com...
Jerry947

Pro

The Cosmological Argument:

By opponent falsely believes that I am making God an exception the the first premise. This is not true. Eternal beings or things (like abstract objects) do not have causes since they have always existed. I don't know what my opponent means by "there is no reason to make God omnipotent." If a being caused the universe to exist, would this being not have all the power? As for the omnipotence paradox, it is flawed.

There are two answers to it. One is that God cannot do the logically impossible. In other words, nonsense remains nonsense even when one is a deity. So, I usually claim that God could not create a stone that he couldn't lift. However, many atheists immediately claim that if God cannot do the logically impossible, then he isn't all powerful.

Okay, so I will go along with this. I'll go ahead and say that God can do the logically impossible. This means that God could create a stone that he couldn't lift and remain all-powerful at the same time. It doesn't make sense logically, but since God can do the logically impossible, he can do whatever he wants.

My opponent also claims that no one knows what came before the Big Bang. Well, we do in fact know that no matter, space, time, or energy existed. So, if the universe had a cause, like my opponent admitted, it would have to be spaceless, timeless, etc. Sounds like God don't you think?

The Axiological Argument:

My opponent has still failed to address the moral argument. Asserting that it doesn't prove God's existence actually doesn't do anything to refute the argument.

However, my opponent does ask this: "Why are humans incapable of producing some objective morality?" This is an easy one to answer. Humans are not objective sources of truth and therefore couldn't produce an objective moral code. My opponent also asserts that societies could create objective morality, but this is not true. A society is just a bunch of people. And what about Nazi Germany? Does that society get to decide what is moral? And what happens when two societies disagree over moral issues? What makes one society's opinions on morality objectively better than others?

My opponent also tries to defend a statement made earlier. My opponent stated that "they think murder is okay." In response to what I wrote, they claim that they weren't claiming that murder was objectively wrong. Okay, I guess I will take my opponent's word for it. I think it could have been worded differently, but I'll accept their explanation. My opponent also asks some more questions about our ancestors. to answer their question, rules might change, but objective morals do not. The fact that people have done immoral actions doesn't mean that they didn't know morality.

The Ontological Argument:

My opponent states: "I literally claimed there is some possibility, and you are acting as though I did not."

This is not true as far as I can tell. Besides, my opponent even stated that "there is some assumption that it is possible for God to exist." That said, if my opponent admits that God's existence is possible, then he affirms the first premise of the ontological argument.

My opponent then cites an argument that Richard Dawkins presented in one of his books. I was actually surprised that my opponent used this argument. It has been rejected many times over. But here it is...

a. The creation of the world is the most marvelous achievement imaginable (at least impressive)
b. The greater the disability/ handicap of the creator, the more impressive the achievement.
c. The most formidable handicap would be non existence.
d. Let us suppose that the universe is a product of one who created everything while not existing.
e. A nonexistent God would be an even more formidable creator.
f. Ergo God does not exist.

Obviously, the problem with this argument is that non-existing things cannot create anything. That idea is logically incoherent. Besides, existence is greater than non-existence. I don't think my opponent understands the Ontological Argument very well.

Other Arguments:

Here are the questions my opponent has asked me. I have included my responses.

1. Miracles and prayer- there are no well attested miracles with enough witnesses. Most times something happened was likely entirely coincidental, and also people tend to forget the millions of times where this sort of prayer work fails.

My Response: Well, I can tell my opponent confidently that every single prayer of mine has been answered. And it isn't that prayer fails, but God at many times says no to us. As for miracles, what about the existence of the universe? Does my opponent consider it a miracle that the universe popped into existence out of nothing? These are both deep subjects that I don't really have time to go into. However, even if these two things didn't happen, that wouldn't disprove the existence of God. It would only prove that God doesn't interact with humanity.

2. Some people say it is better to be religious, as if you are Christian and get it right, you get rewarded (Heaven. However, not necessarily true- what about other religions or denominations of your own?). But if you're wrong, nothing. Atheists get no reward and either punishment or nothing. Wouldn't an omniscient, omnipotent being be able to tell you took the safe way out? The cowards way, purely out of fear?

My Response: Again, this has little to do with the existence of God. But I don't see why my opponent thinks that Christians are cowards. My opponent should keep in mind that Christians are rejecting many other religions when they put their faith in Jesus. If they are wrong and some other religion is right, they risk going to hell. So, I don't think it is fair to say that Christians only believe in Jesus due to fear.

3. How are you supposed to choose what to interpret literally and what not?

My Response: It actually isn't that hard. Just compare the book of Revelation to the book of Matthew. One is biography and the other is clearly written in apocalyptic language.

4. Lots of people have mentioned the Second Law of Thermodynamics, including yourself.

My Response: I honestly don't care about evolution for the sake of this debate. I don't think macroevolution occurred, but I think this is irrelevant to whether God exists or not.

5. Strangely, all your arguments seem to work for every other religion/ god. What makes it the Christian one?

My Response: Well, that is basically true. However, these arguments do rule out Gods that aren't moral. So, I think these arguments do narrow down the selection. As for the Christians God, there are separate argument's for his existence. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is the best argument for the Christian God. If my opponent really wants to go down that road, I guess we can.

6. If I couldn't see God right now, then how do some people have experiences where "God talks with them"?

Again, God is immaterial, so why should my opponent be able to see God?

7. Why do good faithful people die in natural disasters?

Why does my opponent care? He claimed that there was no such thing as evil. If evil doesn't exist, then it is neither right or wrong for good people to die in natural disasters.

8. If God made us in his image, why do we have vestigial body parts, and organs that often fail?

My Response: This question has a presupposition in it that I don't agree with. There are no vestigial body parts.

9. Is it possible prayer is coincidental?

My Response: According to my opponent, "nothing is impossible." In that case, it is possible for prayer to work and for it to be coincidental.

10. Life doesn't really have any (known) meaning.

C.S. Lewis' Response: "If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."
Debate Round No. 3
byaka2013

Con

First, you are avoiding the fact there is no proof of His immaterial (let alone existence) by stating the reason of this is of his immaterial form. What? What if I told you apples are red because apples are red? That makes no sense- so don"t use the "because he"s God" argument anymore. I think of it as more of an excuse.

I actually found your omnipotence paradox answer interesting, but a lot of things are undefined. For example, what are some other non logical things God *can"t* do?
Nobody knows what came before the Big Bang as that would likely have to be a different form of matter (i.e. immaterial). And what if the universe just always existed, and its cause what itself? Does that sound illogical? Of course, yet many people use that argument for God.

Morality = opinion X00; truth. People disagree over truth and objective morality all time, but again, this has nothing to do with the debate you signed up for.

The Ontological Argument:
Existent can be defined as something we can see or have evidence of, but this excludes immaterial things (like your proposed God). Can"t God create things?
Other arguments:
I assume you have heard of Occam"s razor. The fewer assumptions, the generally more correct (about 99% accurate). You are assuming God didn"t answer your prayers, but I say there is no God and prayers do nothing. Look at dying and starving people, who many are praying for. What is the excuse? Are they just not praying hard enough?
Lots of religions have Hell or some variant, but not all. And aren"t (most) atheists rejecting all religions? That makes us less of cowards. For you, there is less punishment involved.
Comparing 2 books tells me nothing about interpretation. Should we just ignore half of the books?
I know, I just wanted to counter it in case you brought it up.
THANK YOU! You are the only Christian I have debated who admits that!!! How do they rule out immoral gods? And if they do, wouldn"t that rule out the Abrahamic God? http://www.alternet.org.... Considering I do want to go down that road, what evidence is there Jesus was even real? The Bible does not count.
God is immaterial, yet you can *hear* him during prayer. So why can we not see but hear a being like Him?
I admit I shouldn"t have included the good part. The emphasis was on "faithful", which you ignored.
https://www.google.com...: I disagree with eyebrow and eyelash, but the point is still there.
Don"t go off what I say- go off of what you believe. If nothing was impossible, it would be impossible for a circumstance to be impossible. So some things are possible. Answer the question, please.
C.S. Lewis"s statement has no logical structure. Why would no universal meaning tell us we should"ve never found out? And we never DID find out. We just logically think that there is no meaning.

In conclusion, I believe I have shown God is not real and that the logic of most creationists is extremely flawed. I will say my opponent is a surprisingly skilled debater, though.

Thank you for voting, commenting or debating.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
@byaka2013

Sorry about the forfeit. I though I had until 10:00 PM last night and I was off by three hours. I had fun with this debate though. Thanks for being a good opponent.
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
We are running out of useable energy. Read more carefully next time...
Posted by bodog 1 year ago
bodog
energy can neither be created nor destroyed so we can't be running out because it will never run out.
Posted by TrapdoorMajesty 1 year ago
TrapdoorMajesty
@Canis

Are memories self evidence? But did your memories happen. Can you prove them all.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
I just do not get it..There is self evidence, (I/you)..So what are religious people looking for ?..Really ?
Posted by Jerry947 1 year ago
Jerry947
@CodingSoure

Thanks, I always appreciate the support.
Posted by CodingSource 1 year ago
CodingSource
Wow. Your style has matured than the Jerry I knew a year ago. Good luck, mate!
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
Berend: he didn't make a claim. He didn't say god is not real.
Posted by Berend 1 year ago
Berend
Considering you're making a claim, the burden of proof is actually on you. You're not saying it's unlikely, you're making the charge it's not true and it's a fact. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
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