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The Contender
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The god of the gaps is a bad argument

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/16/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 530 times Debate No: 118245
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
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The God of the Gaps argument is false for several reasons.

1. When each gap is filled, The believer is forced to jump to the next gap. This game can continue ad nauseam, Since human knowledge will never be able to explain everything (by definition of infinity, And by principles such as G"del's incompleteness theorems). However, The argument is an instance of the logical fallacy of argument from ignorance.

The ultimate "gap" that likely cannot be bridged is "well, God started everything", Because even if something like the m-theory explaining how our universe could have "big banged" in the first place was proven to be true someone could always ask, "yes, But what created the membranes? "

2. Creationists generally declare that, Rather than filling a gap, A new piece of information simply generates two gaps, One on either side of the newly-established fact " meaning that additional information is understood to diminish the observational base of a theory. As such, Increases in knowledge would paradoxically increase human ignorance.

3. The God of the Gaps argument indicates enormous conceit because, By implication, A believer indicates that he (or she) has understanding of all there is, Except those things God did, And therefore declares that a miracle is necessary to make him (or her) fail to understand. It needs hardly to be said that this belief system has little do to with observation, And much to do with blind belief in the unknown.

4. For theists the weakness of "God of the Gaps" methodology is that their arguments for the existence of God are weakened every time scientists fill the "gaps" with real knowledge.

In an attempt to sidestep this problem Howard Till, A theistic evolutionist, Proposes viewing the whole evolutionary saga as a pointer to a creative and generous God.

However this is just "Goddit" on a slightly larger scale, And secondly, Not all the gaps into which God is shoehorned exist in the theory of evolution.

5. If a philosopher or social scientist were to try to encapsulate a single principle that yoked together the intellectual process of civilization, It would be a gradual dismantling of presumptions of magic. Brick by brick, Century by century, With occasional burps and hiccups, The wall of superstition has been coming down. Science and medicine and political philosophy have been on a relentless march in one direction only " sometimes slow, Sometimes at a gallop, But never reversing course. Never has an empirical scientific discovery been deemed wrong and replaced by a more convincing mystical explanation. ("Holy cow, Dr. Pasteur! I've examined the pancreas of a diabetic dog, And darned if it's NOT an insulin deficiency, But a little evil goblin dwelling inside. And he seems really pissed! ") Some magical presumptions have stubbornly persisted way longer than others, But have eventually, Inexorably fallen to logic, Reason and enlightenment, Such as the assumption of the divine right of kings and the entitlement of aristocracy. That one took five millennia, But fall it did.


I understand that the instigator of this debate aka Kyleniel is not actually looking for a contention over his position. He simply wanted to manifest his discontent and used this platform to do so. In spite of that, I will try to engage him in a discussion, Which I don't think should be worth a voting, But you guys do whatever you want.

Hey Ky! :) I hope you're ok with this and we manage to have an interesting exchange here.

In your opening statement you wrote, "The God of the Gaps argument is false for several reasons".

First of all, The term "God of the gaps" is universally regarded as a fallacy and is indeed a simple variation of ad ignorantiam as you've mentioned, A type of false dichotomy.

However, It's not "false" :/ Maybe it's a "bad" argument, But it's not invalid, In the sense that it doesn't necessarily lead to a wrong conclusion. Considering you simply tried to explained why you thought it was "bad" in all of your 5 points, I won't hold you to it, Unless you want to try to take that direction.

So, What can we do instead? We could change the motion to "The God of the Gaps is a bad argument". In that case I would try to present a case to explain why the God of the Gaps is such a persuasive argument. Not for science obviously, But in rethoric.

I don't think you would be happy with that though :p What else? I can address the last 4 of your points independently. We forget the motion and I will simply try to dismantle your statements.

Or. . . I try to make a case for the "God of the Gaps". Not as an argument but as a deity :D I wouldn't try to prove you Her existence on scientific terms, But I would try to justify her status as a God and why She should be worshipped.


1. You try to prove why "The god of the gaps argument is false", (but since it's not a formal fallacy I don't see where you can go here. )

2. We change the motion to "The god of the gaps is a bad argument" and we debate it's rethorical quality.

3. I simply address your last 4 statements and we forget the motion.

4. "The God of the Gaps should have divine status" and I assume the burden of proof.

Just pick one or 2 and we will go with that. If you're not interested in any of this, I also understand :)

Stay curious!
Debate Round No. 1


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Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
So no theist is a theist?
Posted by Peili 3 years ago
Of course "god of the gaps" is a bad argument. It"s a strawman. It is an argument that non-theists assign to theists, But is not actually believed by any major group of modern theists of which I am aware.
Posted by darkwolf 3 years ago
@jackgilbert please provide some textual evidence to this, There are plenty of other faiths that have lasted as long as Christianity please provide evidence that disproves them but can't be used to disprove Christianity
Posted by canis 3 years ago
Yep. A woman was created out of a mans rib. Gap closed. .
Posted by DeletedUser 3 years ago
Christianity is the only religion that cannot be dis-proven scientifically, Historically, Or any other way.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
No gap = no god.
Posted by avipacman7 3 years ago
what is the God of the gaps argument?
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