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THB: God exists.

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/6/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 903 times Debate No: 103821
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)




NB: I will OPPOSE this motion.

The motion is: "THB: God exists".


"THB": abbreviation for "This house believes"- essentially, the claim being discussed.
"God": an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, conscious creator of the universe.
"Exists": can be known to be part of reality.


Pro may choose to take either the first or the last word:

    • If they choose to argue first, they should provide their first argument in R1, and must not provide any arguments in R4 (but due to the way DDO works, they must say something, so "Thank you for the debate" or "Vote Pro" are fine) and voters should ignore any arguments they provide in R4- giving me the last word of debate.

    • Otherwise, they must only accept the argument in R1- giving me the first word, and them the last word. In this case, they may provide arguments in R4.

Regardless of who goes first, neither player may offer rebuttal in their first speech, and neither player may offer new arguments in their last speech (but may offer new rebuttal, and may summate their previous arguments).

Those thinking of accepting the debate should note the 4,000 character limit and the 24 hour time to reply- this is so voters don't get discouraged by the length of the argument, and to ensure the debate runs smoothly.

I wish my opponent the best of luck, and look forward to an interesting and fruitful discussion.


I choose to accept this debate, and will be arguing in the favor of God. I will not, however, be specifying a certain religion. If my opponent wishes to debate that, it will be in a later debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Proof by contradiction using omnipotence paradoxes:
I will use mathematical proof via contradiction (source 1:3) to demonstrate that a God cannot exist. That is to say, I will assume the opposite is true (that God can exist) and demonstrate that this leads to a contradiction, and therefore it cannot be true.

Omnipotence is inconsistent with itself as it produces paradoxes. For instance, can God create a boulder so heavy he cannot lift it? If not, he is not omnipotent (as he is unable to create such a rock) and if so, he is also not omnipotent (as he cannot lift such a rock).

Another example of this is the inconsistence between omniscience and omnipotence- can God learn something? If can, he is not omniscient (as if he can learn something, there is something he does not know- the thing he would learn) and if not, he is not omnipotent (as there is something he cannot do- experience learning).

Similar paradoxes result from asking "Can God go somewhere he hasn't been?" (demonstrates the inconsistence between omnipotence and omnipresence) and "Can God do something evil?" (demonstrates the inconsistency between omnipotence and omnibenevolence).

See source 4 for more.

The problem of evil:
This was first introduced by the Greek philosopher Epicurus, and was phrased as follows:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"

Essentially, bad things cannot happen in a world created by an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being, because he would know about evil, would be able to stop it, and would want to stop it, and yet such evil still exists.

Theists often respond to this by saying that evil is a result of mankind's free will, but then God, if omnipotent, could have created a world with free will but without evil, and if omnibenevolent, would have wanted to, so this refutation does not stand.

(See source 6).

So, in summary:
1) God cannot exist, as ominpotence is inconsistent with itself and the other aspects of omnimaximality.
2) Evil could not exist in a universe associated with an omnimaximal being, but evil does exist. Hence, God does not exist.



Atheists believe our universe can be explained without need of an outside force. Theists, however, believe the contrary. We believe in a divine creator, outside of the confines of space and time. I will give the evidence of a divine creator.


A common theory is the theory of an infinite universe, and it attempts to stay within the universe. The universe has always been here. There are a few flaws in this, though. One is that it is widely accepted that the universe will eventually die somehow [1]. But, in order for the universe to end, it must have a beginning. Let me put it like this. Say that I am training you for a track meet. You put your foot on the starting block, but then I tell you to move it back several feet. You do so, and then I tell you to do it again, and this keeps happening. Without a starting place, you can never run the course and reach the finish line. The same is true for the universe. If the universe does not have a starting place, it cannot run its course and reach the finish. So, we know that the universe had a beginning, but it does not necessarily show a divine creator, which brings me to the next part of my evidence.


No one can deny that the universe appears to be fine-tuned. While some come up with theories to explain this, let"s go over the evidence first. For the majority of theists, a higher power created the universe. For the majority of atheists, a happy little cosmic accident. If it was an accident, it was a pretty convenient one. The theory of fine-tuning is that the universe has been specially designed to sustain life. Even Stephen Hawking, the world"s most famous scientist and atheist, has stated "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life." [2] For instance, if the strength of the Big Bang had differed in its strength by 1 in 10^60 more or less, the universe would have collapsed back onto itself or have expanded too fast for stars to form. For an illustration, imagine shooting a gun from one end of the observable universe to a one-inch target on the other side, which is 20 billion light years away, and hitting it.
There is more evidence in favor of fine-tuning, but for the sake of time, I will move on to the most common explanation of it, the multiverse theory. It states that there are an infinite number of universes, each one different from each other. It is a good explanation for fine-tuning, we just so happen to exist in a universe that had the right necessity for life, but it does have its flaws. For instance, let"s say that I don"t believe anything that doesn"t have sufficient evidence, but I believe in a multiverse. There is no evidence of a multiverse, so why would I believe in it? Simple, it is the simplest explanation. But it avoids the necessity of a creator. It would still need to be created.

In the next round, I will go into rebuttals against my opponent.

[2] Stephen Hawking, 1988."A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, p. 7, 125.
Debate Round No. 2


Refutation- beginning of the universe:
This ought not to be a point of clash, actually- I'm perfectly happy to agree that this incarnation of the universe had a beginning. This doesn't really contradict any ideas I may later invoke, such as the multiverse hypothesis or the cyclical universe hypothesis.

Refutation- fine tuning:
The two canonical explanations to the apparent fine-tuning of the universe are the multiverse and cyclical universe hypotheses:

The multiverse hypothesis (see 7, 8) states that there are a very large (or infinite) number of universes each of which have slightly different laws of physics. The many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (9, 10) can be considered a multiverse hypthesis. Pro postulated that there was no evidence for multiverses, but there is plenty- see sources 16:20.

Cyclical universe:
The cyclical universe (11, 12) is similar, except instead of postulating many universes existing at once, it suggests that the universe in which we live either collapses in on itself or expands indefinitely, and then bounces back to form a new universe.

Both these ideas explain the apparent fine-tuning of the universe as they invoke sheer numbers- to use Pro's analogy, yes, it is remarkable that the gunman could hit such a small target from so far away, but if you have 10^60 blind gunmen aiming in completely random directions, it is quite unremarkable that at least one of them should hit the target.

Unified field theory
Another idea from physics which would explain the apparent fine-tuning is the unified field theory (13, 14) which states that the fundamental forces, and therefore their associated physical constants, are inherently related. Indeed, some of them have been proven to be related- one example of this is that the speed of light is equal to the reciprocal of the square root of the product of the permittivity of free space with its permeability (15). If all the physical constants are related, then the apparent fine-tuning of the universe is an inevitable result of their dependences on one another. If some, but not all, are related (and it is undeniable that at least some are), then this reduces the impressiveness of the metaphorical gunman's shot, as it was an easier shot to make- if he got a few constants right, the rest inevitably fell into place.

So, to summarise my case so far:
1) Omnimaximality is internally inconsistent, and so God cannot exist.
2) Evil would not exist in a universe with an omnimaximal being, and so God does not exist as evil does.
3) Multiverse and cyclical universe hypotheses make the apparent fine-tuning of the universe very unremarkable, as there are so many universes (or incarnations of the same one) that the fact that one (or more) is hospitable to life is inevitable.
4) Unified field theories blow fine-tuning out of the water- the constants are inherently related, so that they converge is inevitable.



My opponent has used an old, but effective argument against Christians, "can God create a rock so heavy not even he can lift?" If he can, that means there is something he can"t do, which is to lift the rock. If he can"t, that means there is something he can"t do, which is to create the rock.

It is a valid point, but St. Thomas Aquinas and Ren" Descartes both answer this same question, though they have different answers. Descartes believed that God, being omnipotent, could do the logically impossible, such as make 1+1=3. Aquinas, on the other hand, believed God could do anything REASONABLLY possible, such as part the Red Sea, or walk on water, but would not violate the laws of physics and mathematics he put in place. While Aquinas" theory is the most plausible, both still survive the paradox.

According to Descartes, God CAN create a rock so heavy he can"t lift, AND STILL LIFT IT. Of course, it is contradictory, but God would be able to make such contradictions true.

According to Aquinas, God is a being that can lift all stones, so therefore a stone so heavy he cannot lift is an impossible object and unable to be created, just as it is impossible to make 1+1=3. He cannot go against his own nature, just like God cannot lie. "Since the principles of certain sciences, such as logic, geometry and arithmetic are taken only from the formal principles of things, on which the essence of the thing depends, it follows that God could not make things contrary to these principles. For example, that a genus was not predicable of the species, or that lines drawn from the centre to the circumference were not equal, or that a triangle did not have three angles equal to two right angles." [1]

My opponent also asked if God can learn. If he can, then he is not omniscient. If he can"t, then he is not omnipotent. Knowledge can be described in three parts: past, present, and future knowledge. For an example, God had knowledge that in 1492, Columbus would seek to find the New World. Now, in the year 100 AD, Columbus would not have even been born, so therefore God would have had future knowledge that Columbus would discover America. When Columbus eventually did, God gained knowledge that Columbus DID discover America. 300 years after the fact, God would have past knowledge the Columbus discovered America.

I was running short on time while writing this, so I will answer the rest of my opponent"s arguments in the final round.

[1] "Cum principia quarundam scientiarum, ut logicae, geometriae et arithmeticae, sumantur ex solis principiis formalibus rerum, ex quibus essentia rei dependet, sequitur quod contraria horum principiorum Deus facere non possit: sicut quod genus non sit praedicabile de specie; vel quod lineae ductae a centro ad circumferentiam non sint aequales; aut quod triangulus rectilineus non habeat tres angulos aequales duobus rectis". Aquinas, T."Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 2, Section 25. trans. Edward Buckner
Debate Round No. 3


As it is now the final round, readers should ask themselves this: has Pro met the burden of proof required to convincingly demonstrate that a God exists? As outlined in R1, no new arguments may be introduced (though new rebuttal and rephrasing of previous arguments may be done), and so this is it- would you, had you only ever read this conversation on the topic, now be convinced of the likelihood of God's existence? If not (and I feel you ought not to be), then it is imperative that you vote Con.

Omnipotence paradox- Descartes:
Descartes simply highlights the paradox here- that if God exists, his omnipotence necessitates that he can do the logically impossible. However, nothing can do the logically impossible (e.g. nothing can make 1 + 1 = 3) as this produces paradoxical results, and so this simply shows that God cannot exist.

Omnipotence paradox- Aquinas:
If God cannot choose to violate the laws of physics, mathematics, and even logic, he is not omnipotent, and therefore is not God.

Omnipotence-omniscience paradox:
Pro states: "When Columbus eventually did, God gained knowledge that Columbus DID discover America.". If that is true, God there was a point in time in which God did not know whether Columbus would discover America- hence, he was not omniscient as there was a thing that could concievably be known which he did not know.

So, to summarise my case:
1) Omnimaximality is internally inconsistent, and so God cannot exist- Descartes does not ressolve this, and Aquinas dodges the question by talking about some entity which is clearly not omnimaximal.
2) Evil would not exist in a universe with an omnimaximal being, and so God does not exist as evil does- Pro has not yet responded to this.
3) Multiverse and cyclical universe hypotheses make the apparent fine-tuning of the universe very unremarkable, as there are so many universes (or incarnations of the same one) that the fact that one (or more) is hospitable to life is inevitable.
4) Unified field theories blow fine-tuning out of the water- the constants are inherently related, so that they converge is inevitable.

I feel I have been thorough enough to rest my case for this debate- Pro has failed to convincingly demonstrate that a God does exist, and has also failed to convincingly answer my argument that omnimaximality cannot exist, or my argument that God cannot exist in a wolrd which has evil.


My opponent has pointed out the problem of evil stated by Epicurus, and makes several good points, but it is all answered by two words. God is both willing and able to stop evil, but chooses to let it stay because of FREE WILL. He created us with free will to make our own decisions, but we choose to do wrong. God did not create evil, but he did create a world in which it was not known. But Lucifer, also known as Satan, choose to reject God, and thus evil eventually entered the world.

As for the no evidence of a multiverse, let me ask you this. Has anyone seen an alternate dimension with their own eyes? Of course not. So, if I am an atheist who doesn't believe anything I cannot see, what sense is there in believing in a multiverse? Or a cyclical universe, for that matter?

he second law of thermodynamics states that entropy always increases, and never decreases. Now, the level of entropy at the time of the Big Bang was at it's low (let's say t stands for entropy), and t=0. Therefore, a cyclical cannot exist, and the amx level of entropy would have to revert back to 0.

As for the unified field theory, it is a good theory, but still suffers a flaw. How would these fundamental forces come into place? They would still need to exist in order to be interconnected.

Omnipotence: My opponent states that nothing can do the logically impossible, then God cannot exist. But, Descrates states that he believed God could do the logically impossible, thus breaking the laws of physics and logic. Aquinas, on the other hand, NEVER stated that God CANNOT CHOOSE to do the logically impossible. He stated that he believed God CHOOSE NOT TO break the laws he put in place. Let's say that I have a loaded gun against someones head, and they can do nothing to stop me. I have the power to pull the trigger, but I can choose not to.

Omniscience: Con seems to have misunderstood my argument here, and I admit I may have misworded it, so let me let William Lane Craig answer it.

Kevin Harris: Some people may be thinking that you're saying that God didn't know that Columbus, for sure, would discover America and he came to know that when he goes, “Oh, look!”

Dr. Craig: No, no, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that before the event God knew the future tensed proposition “Columbus will discover America” but he didn't know the proposition “Columbus discovered America” because that was false at that time. That was false at that time. So that proposition switches truth value once Columbus has made his discovery—it goes from being false to being true, and since God is omniscient (and omniscient means knowing and believing only and all truths) God must come to believe that proposition now. And he will no longer believe the proposition “Columbus will discover America” because that proposition has now become false. It used to be true but it isn't any longer, so God won't believe it anymore.

Read more:;

I hope that this is sufficeint evidence. If Pro would like, we could debate this again with longer response times so we can both prepare more through arguments. Thank you.

Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by kwagga_la 3 years ago
@rextr05 For interest sake, what is your approach to argue against the paradox?
Posted by QueenDaisy 3 years ago

Okay, sure, but if you take a claim, assume the opposite to the claim, and then show that said opposite necessarily implies a contradiction or paradox, that is a proof by contradiction.
Posted by Ockham 3 years ago
Con, for future reference, a stronger rebuttal to Descartes is that if God can violate the laws of logic, then his existence cannot be proven by logic.
Posted by PikaNAW 3 years ago
@backwardsedan Yet our God has yet to be proven to not exist by anyone
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
@rextr05 Strange isn't it that no matter which language you use, god can always be refuted. Your god has yet to be proved by anyone. Duh. Now swallow that selfish egotistical pride.
Posted by rextr05 3 years ago
You must be kidding re the "stone so heavy" paradox. That has been refuted so many times that I thought people would stop using it.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
"The puddle is created perfectly to fit the hole by God of the Puddles. The hole was created perfectly to welcome the puddle. At their interface, the puddle and the hole meet each other perfectly. Does this sound like a reasonable explanation? Isn"t more rational to say that when we weren"t there the hole was empty and the rain filled the hole? Of course we will never know for sure, we weren"t there when it happened, still, what explanation is more plausible. And if you are going for the God of the Puddles, isn't just as absurd as the God of the Holes? Even if we never saw the rain, isn"t it more logical to be atheist since there is no proof for a God of the Puddles? (and a God of the Holes for that matter)".
Posted by somerandomvideocreator 3 years ago
Not part of the debate, I will mention that there is a difference between a paradox and a proof by contradiction. For example, with the Banach-Tarski paradox, I can say that volume does not exist, as a sphere can be split into two identical spheres.
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