The Instigator
Topaet
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
JohnSmythe
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

There is proof for the existence of God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Topaet
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,027 times Debate No: 104227
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (1)

 

Topaet

Con

Definitions:
God = The creator and ruler of the universe
Proof = Evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement.
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Rules:
1. Provide evidence for your arguments (do not make blind assertions).

2. Please refrain from using ad hominem arguments and/or logical fallacies.

3. The first round is for the rules/and Pros opening arguments, the second for rebuttals, and the third for closing statements. The third round is to be used for rebuttals and conclusions only; no new arguments.

4. Do not forfeit.

5. The Burden of Proof is on Pro since the assertion that there is proof for the existence of God is unfalsifiable.

6. Every argument must be structured in a similar fashion to this so that it is easy to point out flaws/defend it:

P1: Bob is a bachelor.
P2: All bachelors are unmarried men.
C1: Bob is an unmarried man.

(P = Premise
C = Conclusion)
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Please do not accept the debate, if you do not intend to abide by the rules.
Good luck and have fun in the debate!
JohnSmythe

Pro

I thank my opponent for offering this debate. Normally, I don't accept these sorts of theological arguments, but the particular phrasing of this challenge intrigued me.

It is impossible to know that nearly anything outside of mathematics, and even it itself, is actually true. We must accept a few axioms, such as the trustworthiness of the senses, and proceed from there. To understand my opponent's axioms, I will ask him for a few examples of his own beliefs and have him very briefly defend his belief in them. I will post no further argument so as to give my opponent space to respond.

Did a person such as the following exist as a discrete individual bearing the name and having done the works which make him famous? If so, briefly explain your belief in that person.

1. Socrates, greek philosopher.
2. Phillip II, King of Macedon, father of Alexander and subjugator of Greece.
3. The apostle Peter (except his supernatural feats)
4. Temujin, also known as Genghis Khan, who conquered nearly a quarter of the world.
5. Pythagoras, greek mathematician.

Do not worry about providing sources, I will take what facts you use for granted, unless you want to positively assert that any of these did not exist, or did not do those things they are generally famous for, in which case I want sources. Simply explain your belief or prove the non-existence of these commonly accepted historical figures.
Debate Round No. 1
Topaet

Con

Pro has violated rule 3 "The first round is for the rules/and Pros opening arguments..." since he has not presented any arguments for the existence of proof for the existence of God so far. This will prevent me from defending my rebuttal of his argument/s that he will, I assume, present in round 2.
The voters should consider this while awarding conduct points.
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"Did a person such as the following exist as a discrete individual bearing the name and having done the works which make him famous?"
Since you have not defined "which works make him famous" I will simply assume a famous work of the person.

"1. Socrates, greek philosopher."
I assume that the historical figure Socrates did exist, mainly because of the many historical sources but it is a known problem that Plato used to use his and Socrates" name interchangeably in his dialogues so, I do not know, whether he actually did everything that "made him famous".
"2. Phillip II, King of Macedon, father of Alexander and subjugator of Greece."
I also assume that Philip II of Macedon did exist and did defeat Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, again, because of the many historical sources.
"3. The apostle Peter (except his supernatural feats)"
I assume that the historical person Peter did exist and did lead the church beside Paul because of historical sources.
"4. Temujin, also known as Genghis Khan, who conquered nearly a quarter of the world."
I assume that the historical person Genghis Khan did exist and was the founder of the Mongol Empire. Again, because of historical sources.
"5. Pythagoras, greek mathematician."
I assume that Pythagoras of Samos was a real historical person and was the first person to prove the Pythagorean theorem as this is what historical evidence suggests.
JohnSmythe

Pro

I ask the indulgence of the audience for the novelty of my opening argument. It would have been far more interesting to begin so rather than come in with one of the standard arguments for God without knowing what my opponent accepted as valid, and us both waste space debating on that which has been debated myriad times.

Now, let us proceed to the argumentation proper.

P1. The only historical evidence for the existence of a person is ultimately either primary witnesses (they who saw the person), or secondary witnesses (they who heard of him, or saw his effects).
P2. My opponent believes in Genghis Khan et. al. because of the adequacy of the evidence.
C. My opponent accepts witnesses as proof of a person`s existence.

P1. The previous conclusion.
P2. There are far more witnesses of God than there are for Genghis Khan.

(P2 elaboration): Indeed, no primary source account for the existence in persona of Genghis Khan exists as far as my research has found, and if there were, there would be very, very few. The descriptions and depictions of him are contradictory. Rashid Al-Din, who never met him, asserted that he had red hair and green eyes. An artist in Taipei drew his most famous portrait as a typical Mongol. The Chinese drew Temujin as a chinese emperor, the Arabs as a turban-wearing bearded sultan, the French drew him as if he were an Ottoman, with turkish features.

Now, on the other hand, that a God who is anthropomorphic, and when the rest of his physiognomy is described, generally with white hair and beard, exists is independently verified amongst several cultures. Viracocha, in Peru, Quetzalcoatl in the Aztec belief. Particularly interesting is that Peruvian indigenous people do not grow heavy beards, which is how Viracocha is portrayed.

Then there are the many personal witnesses for God and His description, beginning with Daniel and continuing to John. Few people have seen God, many more have spoken with Him and His dicta as, for example, recorded in the Bible are consistent across that entire work even if the circumstances in it described are perhaps not. More on this in future premises.

P3. It is not necessary to believe everything written about God for belief in Him.

(P3 Elaboration) My choice of Pythagoras, seeing your belief in him, was deliberate. Indeed, there
are many fantastic, many strange things written about God in many cultures and many religions, myriad being contradictory; Pythagoras as well.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu...)

This work also highlights how scant the evidence for the existence of Pythagoras actually is.

"The authenticated facts in the history of Pythagoras are so few, and the sources from which the greater part of our information respecting him is derived are of so late a date, and so untrustworthy, that it is impossible to lay down more than an outline of his personal history with any approximation to certainty. The total absence of written memorials proceeding from Pythagoras himself, and the paucity of the notices of him by contemporaries, coupled with the secrecy which was thrown around the constitution and actions of the Pythagorean brotherhood, held out strong temptations for invention to supply the place of facts, and the stories which thus originated were eagerly caught up by the Neo-Platonic writers who furnish most of the details respecting Pythagoras, and with whom it was a recognised canon, that nothing should be accounted incredible which related to the gods or what was divine. (Iambl. Adhort. ad Philos. p. 324, ed. Kiessling.) In this way a multitude of the most absurd fictions took their rise -- such as that Apollo was his father; that his person gleamed with a supernatural brightness; that he exhibited a golden thigh; that Abaris came flying to him on a golden arrow; that he was seen in different places at one and the same time. (Comp. Hdt. 4.94, &c.) With the exception of some scanty notices by Xenophanes, Heracleitus, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, and Isocrates, we are mainly dependent on Diogenes Laertius, Porphyrius, and Iamblichus for the materials out of which to form a biography of Pythagoras. "

"In any case, it is known that Pythagoras traveled to Egypt about 535 bce to further his study, was captured during an invasion in 525 bce by Cambyses II of Persia and taken to Babylon, and may possibly have visited India before returning to the Mediterranean. Pythagoras soon settled in Croton (now Crotone, Italy) and set up a school, or in modern terms a monastery (see Pythagoreanism), where all members took strict vows of secrecy, and all new mathematical results for several centuries were attributed to his name. Thus, not only is the first proof of the theorem not known, there is also some doubt that Pythagoras himself actually proved the theorem that bears his name." (Britannica)

There is far less evidence that Pythagoras was the first person to discover the Pythagorean theorem than that, to draw a religious analogy, Jesus resurrected. Jesus had several first hand accounts of his resurrection. Do they conclusively prove that He resurrected? Perhaps not, but it`s more than Pythagoras` discovery of his eponymous theorem has.

C2. One who believes in such historical figures is epistemologically inconsistent if he does not accept the rudimentary fact that an immortal anthropomorphic being, possessor of some measure of supernatural powers, who has been seen by many people with varying distance in both time and space one from another in some fairly consistent ways, indeed exists.



Allow me to anticipate your counter arguments.

Counter-Claim #1: The truth of God would contradict science!

P1. We don`t know how God`s powers work, nor what they even are (see: P3 of C2).
P2. Even if it did, that wouldn`t be ipso facto evidence of its falsity.
(elaboration)
My relating to the Royal Society in the 18th century of how I spoke to a man in China, I still being in America, by means of a handheld box would surely draw scorn and scientific critique, especially if I could not explain how a phone worked.
C3: God does not contradict science, and even if he did, it would not defeat necessarily evidence for Him

Counter-Claim #2: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!

P1. I can arbitrarily decide that anything is extraordinary, and it gets even less dependable when I start making comparisons.
(elaboration)
I could think it is more extraordinary that the genius of a single man was able to unite a nation of steppe nomads, devise a strategy to conquer nearly an entire continent of hundreds of millions, with an army of at most 200,000 soldiers, all without ever being seen by any writer to corroborate his existence, than that man went to the moon. Ergo, I could demand evidence at least as compelling as that of the moon landing (or at least the minimum standard to prove a moon landing). I have never seen his feat duplicated in all of history. I could find odd he was buried in secrecy. I therefore conclude that Genghis Khan was simply a legend perpetuated by the Borjin clan that composed the high officials of the Mongol Empire, and that the "historical Temujin" was likely far less impressive. There is a lot of evidence to say he really was who they say he was, but it is a very extraordinary claim, so I am allowed to demand even more.

If my opponent does not find this particular example convincing, any number of feats by historical figures I can decide are extraordinary because they were never repeated and strike me as very improbable, and write off much of what we accept as true in history on this basis.

C4: Counter-claim #2 proves too much. By not establishing objective evidentiary criteria for the reality of a historical figure, much of history would be thrown out, including several of the persons you claim existed.



Final thoughts:

If a man stabbed his friend he was known to be very close and amicable with, wiped the knife and otherwise carefully left no scientific evidence, yet was witnessed stabbing him, receiving blood spatter on his shirt, and wiping the knife by three people who did not know one another, and was seen entering the scene of the crime with a clean shirt and leaving it with a bloodstained shirt by five more, he would be convicted.

If Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and ten other New Atheists were that jury, they would convict him. They would not say of that bloodstained shirt "Just because we can`t explain how it got bloodstained, doesn`t the witnesses were correct that he stabbed him.". They would not say "Well, the conclusion that he stabbed him is unfalsifiable, so we can`t send a man to life imprisonment.". neither would they say "Science does not prove this crime", and so acquit him. But only because the existence of God would mean a change in their own lifestyles, rather another`s, then they raise such a stink about "extraordinary claims" and such. Worse still, in the criminal realm "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard of evidence, meaning they need more certainty than "more likely to be true than not", which is all belief in God requires. They would send a man prison or to death on less evidence than they demand to accept the reality of a distant, invisible person.

This was, by the way, how awarded cold case analyst and former atheist J. Warner Wallace converted to Christianity. He used those same techniques he would use to establish the veracity of crime witness statements, on the Gospels in the Bible, and found that they met those standards.

We all have the right to use the consequential heuristic. Pythagoras` existence or non-existence means very little to me in my life, so I have less reason to dispute his reality than if his reality meant I needed to stop eating beans (Pythagorean belief) else be punished. That`s acceptable. But don`t pretend people who are not biased against God`s reality are somehow less because they share not in one`s bias.
Debate Round No. 2
Topaet

Con

Your argument is invalid since the conclusion: “My opponent accepts witnesses as proof of a person`s existence.” does not follow from the premises.

“P2. My opponent believes in Genghis Khan et. al. because of the adequacy of the evidence.”
The definition of “belief” in this context should be “hold (something) as an opinion; think.”
I think that Genghis Khan did exist because that is what the evidence suggests.

You are either

A: committing an equivocation fallacy [1] by using the word “belief” in another sense: “accept that (something) is true, especially without proof.”I did not claim that it is proven that Genghis Khan did exist, I merely stated that the evidence suggests that he did.

Or

B: you misunderstood the definition of proof: “Evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement.
It is not enough to provide evidence that merely suggests that God does exist. You must present conclusive evidence that proves that God does exist.

For your argument to be valid you would have to change its conclusion:

P1. The only historical evidence for the existence of a person is ultimately either primary witnesses (they who saw the person), or secondary witnesses (they who heard of him, or saw his effects).
P2. My opponent believes in Genghis Khan et. al. because of the adequacy of the evidence.
C. My opponent accepts witnesses as evidence that suggests that a person did exist.

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“P1. The previous conclusion. [“My opponent accepts witnesses as proof of a person`s existence.”]
P2. There are far more witnesses of God than there are for Genghis Khan.
P3. It is not necessary to believe everything written about God for belief in Him.
C2. One who believes in such historical figures is epistemologically inconsistent if he does not accept the rudimentary fact that an immortal anthropomorphic being, possessor of some measure of supernatural powers, who has been seen by many people with varying distance in both time and space one from another in some fairly consistent ways, indeed exists. “

This argument is not sound since P1 is not true.

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Conclusion:

Pro has failed to produce a sound argument that proves that God does exist.

Rule 3 states that Pro will not be allowed to produce a new argument in round 3.



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[1]: https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...



JohnSmythe

Pro

P1. You're expanding either the definition of "established" or of "truth"
P2. You dropped the rest of my argument.

You'd said "Evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement."

If we adopt your expanded interpretation of this definition, it would present a practical contradiction. By the Munchausen Trilemma, an arbitrarily long request for evidence and support will inevitably lead to circular logic, an infinite regress, or axioms. If I accept your interpretation, I also cannot prove the interpretation I have just accepted. I will bump up against an axiom or fallacy at some point, and thus you cannot prove at any length that I must accept your intepretation.

Nowhere in your original definition did you state "conclusively" or "irrefutably" establish. No fact in law or science meets this criteria. A new observation can always disprove that which has proceeded it. At any minute the invisible giant turtles that many cultures believe hold up the Earth may materialize, thus disproving the current understanding of gravity. You demand that I prove better that God exists than science has that my dog does. Your definition of "established" exceeds that standard used by historians (and we are discussing history) and is therefore useless. If Genghis Khan and Phillip II are considered established persons by people at large, so too may God.

So ultimately, rather than a sophomoric dismissal, you should have attempted to deal with my claims. Since you've dropped them, you're now have to stake your entire position on this nescient sophistry else cede the argument. More's the pity; this could have been interesting.

But for the sake of argument I accept. You've still conceded, by dropping P2 of C and P2 of C2, not to mention the rest of my argument, that you should think that God exists because the evidence suggests He does. That's good enough for any theologian.

Again, to the reader, I understand the motives why someone would be biased against or towards belief in God based on the consequences that decision would have in their life. If the Aztec pantheon being true meant that I would have to commit human sacrifice, else everyone would die because the sun would stand still, I would demand a lot more evidence than the proposition than that there is one more planet in the galaxy than had been thought. I accepted this debate to show that the nonbeliever has no superiority to the believer. Everyone has to choose what axioms they are to accept and I begrudge none that right.

Rebuttal: The argument stands. To refute it, you must prove a definition of "established" that precludes proving anything, even itself.
Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
No its all talk....talk...talk..And then nothing but talk...And back to nothing.. Just to make talk about nothing trying to create something out of nothing...
Posted by backwardseden 1 year ago
backwardseden
No there's no proof for god at all. None.
https://www.youtube.com... - Kris 12:30
Posted by JohnSmythe 1 year ago
JohnSmythe
Look at OED's example. It defeats your point.

"the police established that the two passports were forgeries"

Surely the police did not establish that a priori as you claim that proof must be.

In my epistemology, OED's definitions are sufficient to establish things. But in your's, you must show that it is inerrant, else that it is at least right in this definition. Do the same for your next source, and the source for that source.

We're treading old dusty ground here. Read about the Munchausen Trilemma and have done with your positivist epistemology.
Posted by Topaet 1 year ago
Topaet
Established = show (something) to be true or certain by determining the facts.
Fact = a thing that is known or proved to be true.
Posted by JohnSmythe 1 year ago
JohnSmythe
By all means, prove that I should accept your definition of "established" as being "irrefutable"
Know that for every premise, I will want proof of that premise, and for the premise that proves that, etc. each of which must also be irrefutable.
Posted by Topaet 1 year ago
Topaet
"My, what petulance!" Pretty much an ad-hominem...

"I called you on your semantics" Nope, you just asserted something that is irrelevant.
"No fact in law or science meets this criteria." That is completely irrelevant. Science is not concerned with proving things, empirical evidence is what is discussed in science, not proof.
Posted by JohnSmythe 1 year ago
JohnSmythe
*Round three, excuse me.
Posted by JohnSmythe 1 year ago
JohnSmythe
My, what petulance!

Round two would have been the appropriate forum for this. Now you`re just throwing a tantrum because I called you on your semantics. Dropped is dropped.

I lack the time and inclination to analyze the validity of Bigfoot and fairy witnesses individually, but suffice it to say, they do not match in neither number, quality, nor supporting circumstantial evidence (useful only in cumulative proofs), those of Genghis Khan.
Posted by Topaet 1 year ago
Topaet
"But for the sake of argument I accept. You've still conceded, by dropping P2 of C and P2 of C2, not to mention the rest of my argument, that you should think that God exists because the evidence suggests He does."
I have not conceded that, It simply wasn't the topic of the debate.

If the topic of the debate had been "It is reasonable to assume that God exists" I would have defended the assertion that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.
E.g.
Tim and Jason are two friends talking after Work. Tim tells Jason that he watched a movie the previous evening. Jason believes him easily because he knows that movies exist, that Tim exists, and that Tim is capable and fond of watching movies. If he doubts him, he might ask for a ticket stub or a confirmation from one of his friends. If, however, Tim tells Jason that he flew on a unicorn to a fairy kingdom where he participated in an ambrosia-eating contest, and he produces a professionally-printed contest certificate and a friend who would testify to the events described, Jason would still not be inclined to believe him without strong evidence for the existence of flying unicorns, fairies and ambrosia-eating contests.
Posted by Topaet 1 year ago
Topaet
P1. The only historical evidence for the existence of a person is ultimately either primary witnesses (they who saw the person), or secondary witnesses (they who heard of him, or saw his effects).
P2. My opponent believes in Genghis Khan et. al. because of the adequacy of the evidence.
C. My opponent accepts witnesses as proof of a person`s existence.
P1. The previous conclusion.
P2. There are far more witnesses of fairies than there are for Genghis Khan.
P3. It is not necessary to believe everything written about fairies for belief in them.
C2. One who believes in such historical figures is epistemologically inconsistent if he does not accept the fact that fairies exist.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KostasT.1526 1 year ago
KostasT.1526
TopaetJohnSmytheTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Since the debate is titled "there is proof for the existence of God", the burden of proof is mostly on Pro. Pro did a good job trying to prove their claim, but failed to, as they took for granted that the existence of the mentioned historical figures is considered proven, and thus so must be God. Furthermore, they claimed that there are numerous witnesses of God, without elaborating on that statement or providing any sources for it, henceforth making it an assumption. Con, on the other hand, tried to point these out (even though Pro denied having made these mistakes), without providing any further arguments. To reach a conclusion, despite their lack of additional arguments, Con wins the arguments' point, having countered successfully their opponent's main argument, confirming their initial claim. Both sides had proper conduct (Pro violated a debate rule, but restated their argument in the next round), grammar/spelling and - few but trustworthy - sources.