Greetings, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to my opponent for this debate, and for the community for taking the time to read each poster's arguments and consider them. The question of whether or not God exists is a question of paramount importance in each individual's life, and we all will face this question at some time in our life or another. The answer to this question will not only affect our academics, our philosophies, but ultimately, how our lives are lived.
Is there a God? I believe the answer to that question is an emphatic, resounding, absolute, yes. I will be looking at several lines of philosophical and axiological truths here in my first round which will I believe unambiguously point out the existence of God when pressed further So, for the sake of brevity, I will dive right in.
1. AXIOLOGICAL TRUTHS which, if denied, lead to ethical absurdities.
In this debate, I will be taking for granted the idea that, if God exists, He could indeed communicate with His creatures. If my opponent has an issue with this, please let me know, and please explain why God could not communicate with His creatures. I will also be using the traditional definitions of God, a space-less timeless, Omni being. Also, since I am a Christian, I am not arguing for the existence of Brahma or Allah, or just a general deistic creator, but the God of the Bible specifically. Is that ok with my opponent? If so I will begin
As a human species, we all have some set of guiding behavioral principles, we usually call these ethics or morality. We all expect one another, regardless of race, sex, or belief, to abide by some standard of "right" and "fair play". In this debate, and this is an example I use frequently, but it bears repeating, my opponent does not expect me to win by hacking into edeb8 and causing the votes to automatically go to me. If we were debating in person, my opponent does not expect me to win by physically beating all opposition into submission to my views. I can guarantee my opponent would protest such behavior.
The question then becomes this. We all take for granted a basic human dignity, that humans are to be treated not like animals, but that human beings have an inherent worth and value making behaviors such as rape and murder objectionable, and not only so, but simply wrong, who decides this though?
So my first spotlight pointing out the existence of God is that. A simple question. Who determines what is right and wrong in your worldview? In my worldview, I have a Transcendent Standard who sets the correct and true behavioral principles for His creatures, and He does so by His own authority and nature. In other words, God sets the rules.
When we try to take God out of our ethical equation, this leaves only two options left. Either humankind sets the standards of human behavior (which leads to moral relativism) or the "standards" of moral behavior do not truly exist, but we simply act in accordance with our pre-determined biology and sociology which means there is no true "right or wrong." Which leads to nihilism.
So we are left with three choices, 1. God exists and is the standard of all ethical truths and judgments, indeed He is the one who has directly set the rules. 2. Mankind is sufficient in himself to determine through different social and biological factors what is beneficial to the species and society at that given time and place. Or, 3. Nothing is truly right or wrong in an ethical and moral sense
I will ask my opponent which view, if any, he espouses. I believe the first option is the only one which does NOT lead to absurd conclusions. I believe it is fairly easy to see why the vast majority of people would object to option three, and why option two is undesirable due to it leading to moral relativism. Please note my argument is NOT one needs to believe in God to have a sense of morality, my argument is that God must exist in order for there to be objective moral truths.
2. EPISTEMOLGICAL TRUTHS
In debating this topic with me, my opponent has taken for granted certain things about the nature of knowledge which I believe cannot be justified apart from God. For example, my opponent is reading words on a page right now, and is using his eyes to read and comprehend the information I am relaying. At no point however, will my opponent state that he cannot answer my arguments because he is not sure if his senses are even giving him truthful information about the world around him. In reality, me and my opponent already believe the world around us is a reflection of what actually is, and not an illusion or simulated sense perception. In other words, me and my opponent don't play with the idea that we could be in some kind of matrix, we just use and refer to reality as real.
All claims to knowledge therefore rest upon us A. having a belief that the world around us is indeed real, and our senses are not deceiving us, B. Truth indeed can be known through human sense and reasoning.
To make what I'm saying a bit more clear, basically, my opponent doesn't question if we are even having this debate. We just take that fact for granted. The question then becomes, which worldview can account for the acquisition of knowledge? It is my argument, that, if we try to take God out of the equation, we are left with absurd answers about the nature of how we know things.
For example, I can say with certainty that I am using my fingers to type on a keyboard, the device I am using is real, and the debate I am having is actually taking place. I can say this with certainty because I know the world around me is not a dream world, a simulation,, or otherwise some sort of deception because an Omnibenevolent God who is truthful created the world around me, and my senses to discern this world. When left with atheistic autonomous senses and reasoning, we are left question just how exactly can we gain true knowledge of the world around us if our senses, reasoning, and even "reality" itself was not created with an objective truthfulness, but simply "is". Is this keyboard a keyboard? Is my sense of touch truthful? How do I know my senses are truthful?
To state it briefly, God= Certain knowledge, no God =uncertain "knowledge.
In other words, I ask my opponent, on what basis do you trust your senses to be relaying the truth about reality to you?
3. INDUCTIVE REASONING.
My third point I will state rather briefly. In my worldview, it is God who upholds the created world and it's laws, thereby making nature uniform. Thereby allowing us to conduct science and gain knowledge through inductive reasoning. If we take God out of the equation, and His divine providence and sustaining of the created world, what reason do we posit nature to be uniform, and therefore on what basis do we conduct science?
If water boiled at 100 degrees today but 35 degrees tomorrow, science would not be possible. Nature however operates in a uniform fashion and that allows us to make experimentation possible. If God is not upholding the creation, but the material world is simply left to itself, why does nature operate this way, and more importantly, how can we trust it to in the future? And if we cannot trust nature to operate uniformly in the future, on what basis do we trust science? Positing the future will be like the past is fallacious because the past gives us no information about the future when dealing with induction. So simply put, no God, no basis for science
GOD IS THE FOUNDATION FOR MORALITY, FOR HE SETS THE RULES, HE IS THE FOUNDATION FOR KNOWEDGE, FOR HE CREATED US TO REASON AND SENSE TRUTH, AND HE IS THE FOUNDATION FOR SCIENCE, FOR HE SUSTAINS THE UNIVERSE FOR US TO STUDY. WITHOUT THE SUPEREME FOUNDATION OF THESE TRUTHS, WHERE ARE WE LEFT? WE ARE LEFT WITH PHILOSOPHICAL ABSURDITY. NO BASIS TO JUDGE ACTIONS AS OBJECTIVELY WRONG, NO BASIS TO SAY I KNOW WITH CERTAINTY, AND NO BASIS TO PUT OUR EYES TO THE MICRSCOPE
No God, no anything.
I hope I have articulated these points well, and I thank my opponent for his time. Thank you all!
Return To Top | Posted:
2018-08-18 00:06:09| Speak Round
Well first I would like to formally thank my opposition for submitting such a good argument but without a further ado Let’s start this.
Now when we look at our planet and universes and galaxies, we can observe galaxies and you can realize it looks like that if a hurricane, you may be asking me why does this help your argument, well let me explain, look at the mathematical equation of the universe, some say it looks like a human thumbprint, but if god is like the Bible suggests that he is all loving and all knowing, so why would he limit himself to the same design, in other words why would he use the same building blocks even though he has eternal knowledge, if there is such an intelligent designer he would make everything different, completely independent of everything else, but if it was all created naturally it would follow some sort of makeup since it’s natural it should have at least some similarities just like the appearance of the galaxy being similar to the appearance of a hurricane.
Now let us move on to God’s apparent all loving nature, God seems to be anything but all loving, Let’s look at the Pharoah of Egypt, the story in a brief explanation goes that God hardened the heart of the Pharoah to make him say no, then when he said no God sent his angels to take all first born children into heaven, essentially he sent his angels down to murder a city of children, also if he is all loving why does he allow death, he allows suffering, why does he allow his children (us) to kill each other and allow us to cause wars, and there is more I could say but you probably get my point, god is anything but all loving.
Now if god created the earth and humans, why did he leave us to get all of the knowledge of many things, why did god create us imperfect even though he could have made us perfect, I’m the dawn of man it took a couple of hundred years to be able to harness fire, but now we could easily start fires, but why did god leave us even without basic knowledge such as how to harness fire even though many people froze to death.
Humans are animals, you probably know this, look the animal kindom, nothing is right or wrong which is how human kind should be, god didn’t create us with this knowledge, It came from millions of years of eveloution, the earth is examined as being over 4 billion years old, but human kind is only thousands to hundreds of thousands years old, why would god wait that long to create us on a planet unused for billions of years, also in the Bible it said that god created the heavens and the earth and then said let there be light even though our sun is billions of years older than earth the Bible says earth is older than the sun which is highly illogical, we already know that a meteor struck the earth releasing gasses causing it to rain and flood the entire world, why did god send down a meteor to create water instead of just doing it himself since he is all powerful.
Also the existence of god brings us many paradoxes such as the paradox of the Goan rick which goes as follows “can god create a rock so heavy he can’t lift it”, if it can lift it he is not omnipotent because that means he is not all powerful because he can’t make it too heavy, but if he can’t lift it he is not all powerful because he can’t lift it, there is many more paradoxes that I could say but I will just leave it at that.
That is all for now sorry for it being short.
Return To Top | Posted:
2018-08-18 14:53:40| Speak Round
A large thank you to my opponent, and a warm greeting again as always. When I was writing out my first round of this debate, I was wondering what type of responses and arguments my opponent would use to counter the three points I brought up, and I was even thinking up counter responses to those responses, however, I am afraid that when I read your response, Random Person, I was quite caught off guard to find none of them directly addressed or even mentioned. What I did find were some misunderstandings about God and His nature, which I would be more than glad to clear up.
In this generation, the minds of our youth are all too often focused on the "me" and not on the "He", in other words, mankind so often tries to play God, or at best, co-God in that, they tell Him how to think, love, and my, even create. If I may, Random Person, allow me to respond to your first argument.
You state that the universe bears evidence of being naturally formed, because if the universe was created by an eternally infinite God, then He would not have used the same materials and made the same patterns.
This line of thinking reminds me of a young child viewing the masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo and saying "Daddy, there's too much red! And why did they use oil paints! I happen to like water color."
I tend to think all loving fathers would chuckle at these statements, I have a suspicion God is too. Moving on, Random Person, you briefly mention the theodicy, that is, how could a good God allow evil and suffering. You state that the Biblical God was not all loving because He hardened Pharoah's heart and slew the firstborn of Egypt.
First, just as a historical side note, the slaying of the firstborn, we tend to use imagery of little innocent children, however, firstborn means just that, the first born, which would have been the eldest of a family's offspring. Secondly, Random Person, I would like to use the analogy of a U.S. soldier, who happens to be a father.
It is the contention of many atheists, that there is a contradiction between God being loving, and yet we see God commanding war, taking many people's lives, and even destroying entire cities in the Bible. Now, the atheist will say "How could a loving God do such things? They will then question God's goodness, or create a seeming contradiction in His behaviors and nature.
What about a soldier who's a dad? When that soldier, Random Person, is on the battle field, that soldier's "loving" aspects are far from being utilized, the solider will go out to war and do what he has to do to complete the mission. When that solider goes home however, that very same person may pick up his little child and kiss his wife. The point is, is that on one hand, we have a person who is a seeming contradiction, that soldier taking lives and decimating the enemy, is the same one who takes out his little son for ice cream or drinks tea with his daughters. The point is, Random Person, is that somebody can be extremely loving, but also extremely good at dishing out a hurting. When we look at God, that is how He is too, God is all loving in the sense that He even allowed an idolatrous tyrant like Pharoah to continue to breathe God's air, eat God's food, live on God's planet, and mistreat God's people. As Jesus said, He sends His rain on the just, and on the unjust. Even ordinary things like allowing us to continue on in our existence are acts of God's love. God was very patient with Pharoah, but when it came time to go from Father to Soldier, God does His job well.
Moving on to the broader issue, you ask why God allows evil and suffering, and you state that God should have created us perfect. Well, when God created us, according to Scripture, we were without sin, unfortunately it is on our part that that changed. And today we are not perfect because our Parents chose that route. However, what is the answer to the problem of suffering?
Allow me to give all of the Edeb8 community the Phos Halas answer to the problem of suffering. I am not stating anything new, just basic facts we all agree on.
1. I don't think there is anyone who would state that they would want God to get rid of some suffering, I would think that we all agree we would want God to stop all suffering.
2. We must be honest with ourselves, that in our life, young or old, male or female, we ALL have in some way, shape or form, added and caused some form of suffering in this world.
3. People cause suffering
4. In order for God to get rid of all suffering, He would have to get rid of all people. Why should He not start with us right now?
But because God is merciful, He chooses, for His divine purposes, to temporarily allow suffering in order to have time to redeem His creatures, and bring them into His kingdom, where there will be no suffering.
So, Random Person, I think upon further investigation, even in suffering God is merciful.
I would still like to point out that my original arguments were not addressed, but I actually like the direction this debate went, sometimes we get so caught up in our philosophical meanderings, we cannot stop and take a look at the more profound questions. This first round has been a pleasure.
And, finally to address your last points, you say that humans are animals. My, I certainly wouldn't want anyone to treat you like such. Instead, I look at the teachings of Christ, where He says "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" and I say, yes, that is far superior to treating people like they are animals. For you see, Random Person, if humans are merely animals, and not image bearers of the Creator, what then is wrong with one animal slaughtering another?
Return To Top | Posted:
2018-08-19 00:46:30| Speak Round
Hello again, I’d like to say another formal thank you to my opponent in taking part in this and thoroughly enjoyed reading his arguments, I’d like to apologize for not doing much on your arguments in the first round as I though I’d get into my opinions instead of doing a classic “all of what you just said is wrong because” as I wouldn’t have had time to put in my opinions but now I will talk about your arguments.
Now first talking about how you compared god to a man in the military, they both love and slaughter, now when we look at the man we see he only bears love for his daughter and wife, the multiple people he kills he has no love for, so this already contradicts the fact of god being all loving as all loving means he loves everything but if you compare him to the soldier then he cannot be all loving for then since god does kill he is not merciful, so by comparing god to the soldier it shows that god is neither all loving nor merciful which contradicts many parts of ancient scripture and the Bible.
Now onto the arguments on the painters you used, I find this a rather weird comparison, I don’t see how you could compare a great human painter to an all powerful all knowing being, humans are not all knowing and when humans create things it’s usually natural giving it patterns like paintings, but that’s because human are not deities, humans are limited with what they can create because of not being deities, why would any deity decide to limit himself when he create one of the biggest things he could have ever created, I ask you this now, if you had eternal knowledge and power would you limit yourself when you could make everything independent and have it’s own specialty or would you limit yourself to the same pattern for most things even though you could make everything different?
You say that god allowed the Pharoah to breathe his air, eat his food, live on his planet, mistreat his people, but you forget that god sent down a plague killing the Pharoah’s live stock, causing many to starve and die, and does god care so little for his people he allowed a another person to mistreat them, that isn’t necessary all loving, also you say that most firstborns weren’t children but child or not god still did kill them, not to mention there was actually multiple people who were children who were slain, also god turned the rivers into blood causing multiple people to not have drinking water so the Egyptians were starving and dehydrated, that doesn’t sound like an all loving god, an all loving god would have tried to convince the Pharoah to let the people go which he could have done.
Now humans are animals, I didn’t mean it as an insult so am extreme sorry if it did, now we are biologically related to most animals so we are animals, it’s just over millions of years of evolving we became extremely intelligent to the point of knowing not to kill our fellow human, now society was actually created by the discovery of farming which I’m sure you know the story so I won’t go over it, it took tens of thousands of years to discover society so humans ran rampant murdering each other, why did god not do anything, if he loves us so he would give us the knowledge of it but he never did.
Now I present to you the fact that human are built for war, every muscle, every bone, why would a god crease us to crate peace and spread his word when we are built for warfare, we look at nature and many animals are built for conflict like humans so why would god make us built for war which causes us to have war.
That is all for now thank you very much so for the brilliant argument, sorry for not addressing your first arguments but as I said I thought instead that I’d pitch my ideas as well on why I think there is not god or intelligent designer.
Return To Top | Posted:
2018-08-19 02:13:37| Speak Round
Greetings again, as always thank you to my opponent and the edeb8 community for reading these debates. I would like to state that although my analogy of the U.S soldier. is I believe accurate, it still is a limited analogy. Yes, the soldier may not have love for the enemies he is killing, God, on the other hand, allows those who hate Him, to continue to exist in this world, and enjoy the good of His creation, and God allows this even after seeing their rejection of Him. So the fact that there even are people who are enemies of God, further strengthens my case, because if God was not loving and patient with these types of people, they would not be around for us to use as an example.
Also, random person, you state why did God not just try to convince Pharoah to let the people go. Well, He did numerous times, over and over in the early chapters of Exodus we see God using signs and miracles through Moses to persuade Pharoah. This was before the slaying of the firstborn.
So to summarize, God is all loving, not in the sense that He never harshly punishes anyone, and not in the sense that He never gets angry or delivers divine justice, but in the sense of His patience, God could strike down every blasphemer and annihilate everyone who rejects Him instantly, but He does not, instead He allows them to enjoy His creation and gives them ample time to repent. So in that sense we see God's Omni-benevolence. I would also like to point out, that even if God was not all loving, in ANY sense, that would not mean He does not exist.
Moving on to the creation discussion, I fear, random person, that your argument against God goes something like this:
"I think God should have created this way, instead of that way, therefore God must not exist, because He did not fulfill the expectation of 21st century Dylan."
When we look at the wonders of the universe, the vast and endless star systems, the mind blowing complexity of the cell, the exact distance of the earth from the sun, the exact chemical combinations in the air we breathe, the living machine our bodies truly are, I do not stop and question "Why didn't God do this or that" I stop and say "Holy Holy Holy" Because I know that the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. So, random person, in all truth, an all powerful God could have created a large cardboard box for us to live in, if He so chose, but instead He created a magnificent universe for us.
Now supposing God did create for us a box, that again, would not mean He did not exist.
We have briefly touched upon morality in your last post, and I would like to ask something very important, you said that we "know not to kill our fellow humans", well, knowledge of something does not explain why something would be wrong.
If humans are animals as you say, random person, why should we value the life of a human more than the life of a chicken? What would be the moral outrage if we had Kentucky Fried Human rather than Chick Fil A?
You said we now know not to kill. Well having knowledge of something doesn't necessarily explain the why behind that knowledge.
So we know not to kill our fellow man, sure, but WHY is killing our fellow man wrong? It is the atheistic worldview that needs to provide a consistent answer to this question, one that is not rooted in relativistic theories of sociological benefits.
And, ultimately, I would like to again point out that my major points in my first round were not addressed. You did briefly mention morality, which you indicated is an evolved morality that we acquired ourselves. This means you subscribe to a relativistic morality, random person. Because ultimately our evolved moral compass is the final standard for what is right and wrong. Rather than a Transcendent Standard deciding what is good and what is not.
I have several issues with the theory that our morality only comes from what we have evolved through biological processes. I think if we look t the genetic tendencies and needs of human beings, relegating all morality to it "simply evolved" is far from satisfactory.
What would be wrong with genetic cleansing? The Darwinian model suggests that the strongest survive, so what is objectively wrong with systematically killing those with mental or physical disabilities? That would be beneficial to the species, not immoral.
My genetic information evolved in such a way that I have a primary goal to spread my genes to as many people as possible, so what then is wrong with rape? Think about this, reproducing is the primary goal and function in the Darwinian model, what then, random person, is wrong with someone raping another member of the species? I am doing my biological duty to spread my genes. In fact, rape might even be beneficial to the species.
Please note, I am not arguing against evolution, I am arguing against an evolved morality, in other words, morality with no God.
The only thing one could say in this model is that rape is socially frowned upon, not objectively wrong. I think we both know that's not the case. So again, my points stand, we need God to transcend genetics, opinions, social customs, and our biology to set for us an objective morality. Which is the defense of my first point, the other two have not been addressed.
Thank you again as always!
Return To Top | Posted:
2018-08-28 16:18:46| Speak Round
Return To Top | Posted:
2018-09-25 16:20:10| Speak Round