Thanks to Patmos for the debate. I will defend my case, refute his, and conclude with voting issues.
== Overview ==
First, do not allow Patmos to make any new arguments or arguments against dropped points in his next posting. Not only is making such arguments against the rules of the debate, but it would be unfair to me, as I would have no chance to respond.
Second, Pro continues to problematically shift the goalposts. First, it is unfair to me because (a) it prevents me from developing and sustaining an argumentative narrative against his points and (b) it invalidates my argumentative wins to the extent that each time I convincingly refute an argument of Pro's, Pro can just offer some totally new point an emerge unscathed. Pro's advocacy becomes so slippery that it evades any response. Second, it destabilizes Pro's advocacy because (a) his advocacy becomes unclear and (b) his advocacy becomes incoherent, to the extent that his positions contradict. He cannot simply pretend that he did not make his original arguments. Anywhere Pro shifts the goalposts, Pro's arguments should be rejected.
Third, recall that if even one of the 4 O's is not true of God, God as defined does not exist and Con wins.
== Con's Case ==
I. To Pass Over in Silence
If I am a blind man and was never told about color, I could not imagine it or think of it. Only because I am told about it (and thus given reference) can I think about it at all. So, Pro's counter-example is non-responsive to my argument.
II. The Four O's
A. God Cannot be Omniscient
First, Pro shifts the goalposts. His original argument was that god was not like the doctor. Now, Pro's argument is about non-propositional knowledge. This goalpost shifting is especially troublesome this late in the debate. Because this round is or summary and rebuttal, I have even fewer characters to devote to responding to late arguments. Also, this is my one and only chance to respond to Pro's argument, but he'll get two rounds (3&4) to talk about it, which is unfairly skewed.
Second, Pro still refers to non-propositional information as "knowledge" (e.g. "if non-propositional knowledge is defined into omniscience"). This is crucial, because per my definition of omniscience, which Pro dropped, omniscience means "possessed of universal or complete knowledge." Since Pro concedes that non-propositional information is knowledge, god must know non-propositional knowledge or god is not possessed of complete knowledge. By conceding that god cannot know non-propositional knowledge, Pro has conceded that god is not omniscient.
Third, the realization that "I am in the hospital" may be a realization, but it can also be expressed as a proposition. Propositional knowledge is knowing-that, and it is the case that I know that I am in the hospital. Therefore, Pro's objection does not apply to my original argument.
Finally, if god lacks knowledge of what it is like to be a sinner, how can god justly pass judgement upon us? We take as fundamental the importance of empathy--the ability to put oneself in the shoes of the Other--in coming to understand (and thus fairly and comprehensively evaluate) the character and deeds of others. If god cannot know what it is like to be a sinner, god lacks the necessary qualities to judge us, which would constitute a defect in god. Plus, if god cannot empathize with us, he is not omnipotent either (it's something he cannot do).
B. God Cannot be Omniscient and Omnipresent
Pro says that "to be omnipresent and atemporal really means that you're nowhere." Omnipresence means, per the definition Pro dropped, "present in all places at all times." Extend my definition of omnipresence because it (a) was dropped and (b) comes from a credible dictionary. God cannot be present in all places if god is nowhere; that is a contradiction in terms. Pro says that god is omnipresent because god "can view and influence everywhere." But "viewing" is not the same as being "present." I can "view" Earth without being "present" on Earth. For god to be "present," god must be temporally located everywhere. By conceding that god cannot be present everywhere, Pro has conceded that god is not omnipresent. Also, Pro, by focusing on physical locality, drops my argument that god must be submerged in the timeline.
C. God Cannot be Omnipotent
First, Pro essentially admits that he shifted the goalposts. Cross-apply my overview and reject Pro's argument.
Second, Pro's reply is not actually responsive to my argument about bags. Pro writes: "You haven't lifted the rock per se but you have raised the position of the rock." However, that moving the bag is not the exact same thing as moving the rock does not refute the fact that "if there is a rock so heavy that god cannot lift it, placing it in/on a plane will merely make the plane unliftable." Extend my argument.
Third, Pro does not offer a response to my two-part paradox, namely: "can god create a plane which is (a) too heavy for it to lift and (b) cannot be placed on/in another plane." My two-part paradox overcomes the root of Pro's counter-paradox (namely, the use of planes). Pro says that he could offer something about superposition or another paradox as a rebuttal, but, in fact, he offers neither, and so Pro has no substantive response to my point. Extend my argument as dropped.
D. God Cannot be Omnibenevolent
First, Pro claims that omnibenevolence allows for evil if that evil is for the greater good. Yet, perfect goodness is incompatible with any evil, since allowing any evil would be an imperfection in goodness. Pro also disputes that free will would exist in a perfectly moral world. Sure, there are some choices we could not make (like murder), but there are many choices we could make (like whether to be a painter or a philosopher). In such a world, the limited loss of free will is offset by the massive gains in morality.
Second, there is an important distinction Pro's missing. Pro's rebuttal that "evil = net good" is moot because Pro cannot show that it is always the case; on that we agree. My original argument that "any evil = no omnibenevolence" is not moot, because it may nonetheless be the case that any evil negates god's omnibenevolence. So, Pro is only agreeing to the mootness of his argument, not to the mootness of mine.
Third, on objective morals, Pro's thinking is, in principle, wrong, because he ignores nuances in motivation. For instance, I argue that "sadistic infanticide" is objectively immoral. None of the cultures Pro has put forward engaged in sadistic infanticide, as the chief object of their infanticide was not sexual gratification via torture and murder. The Aztecs and Mayans, for instance, appeared to believe that the infanticides were necessary to placate the gods, and was thus for the greater good.
== Pro's Case ==
I. Cosmological Argument
Pro says that because god had the power to define every property of the universe, god is omnipotent. That doesn't follow because (a) a super-powerful, non-omnipotent being could have done the same and (b) creation does not imply ongoing control. Pro also says that parents don't design children, but designer children are only a short time away technologically. Soon, parents will be able to design and create their children, but that does not mean they will be able to know their children's thoughts and feelings or know every scar or anatomical change their kids might pick up during the course of their lives. Creation does not imply perfect knowledge. And remember: Pro said he cannot demonstrate omnibenevolence. Thus, Pro cannot demonstrate god's omnipotence, omniscience, or omnibenevolence.
B. The Argument
First, Pro has not demonstrated that my counter-syllogism is metaphysically impossible. Thus, per inductive reasoning, it is equally valid to and cancels out Pro's syllogism. Second, Pro chooses to talk a lot about quantum events, but drops the radioactive decay argument. Extend that radioactive decay is uncaused. This renders the first premise of Pro's syllogism false by showing that events can be uncaused. Third, Pro drops that the "heath death" argument is (a) unwarranted and (b) false. This is key, because the heat death argument was Pro's only remaining one against an infinite past. Extend that the "heat death argument" fails.
II. Teleological Argument
I'm going to skip some numbers.
Second, Pro gives two criteria he says are "believed" to be crucial for life. This doesn't undermine my core point: namely, that because life can exist in a huge range of conditions, it begs the question to assume that life was improbable in this universe.
Third, I did a Ctrl+F search for "quantum information" in Pro's sources and found nothing. With scant explanation in the round, and sources which are not enumerated (such that I cannot know if any/which of his sources support Pro's claim), Pro's claim remains uncorroborated. Any corroboration (or clarification) would come too late for me to respond to. Pro's argument must be dismissed.
Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh, these points get dropped without any substantive reply. Extend them.
== Voting Issues ==
1. Pro does not meet his burden
The Omnipotent Paradox (Can God make a stone he can not lift) is silly and illogical.
It (the Paradox) violates the law of non-contradiction (tipping my hat to Aristotle). The law of non-contradiction states that things that are logically contradictory cannot exist and are, in fact, absurd. For example a “square circle” cannot exist because in order for a square to be a square it must not be a circle, and vice versa. There are some things God can not do BECAUSE he is Omnipotent.
You’re basically asking if a Being of unlimited power can produce something to limit Him. But His unlimited power, by definition, rules out that possibility. An unlimited being cannot create limits for Himself.
Put another way, a rock, by definition, is an object made of matter and of a finite size. In order for such a stone/rock to be too heavy for an Infinite Being, it would need to be of infinite size. But the very definition (dare I say it, YOUR definition) of a stone rules out this possibility. Here's a fun little hypothetical:
Atheist: "God, if you're so powerful, I want you to make a Triangle with only 2 sides. If you can't, then that proves you're not All-Powerful"
God: "Ok. First, let's make sure we are on the same page. What exactly is a triangle?"
Atheist: "You're God! You should know that already. But allow me to enlighten you. A triangle is an enclosed shape consisting of 3 sides and 3 angles that are each less than 90 degrees."
God: "Ok. So your own definition of a triangle is a shape with 3 sides, but yet want me to make one with 2 sides? So if I make shape that has 2 sides and I present it to you and say it's a triangle, would you agree?"
Atheist: <awkward silence> "Um.......No"
God: "Why not"
Atheist: "Because....I ...um....defined the triangle to be 3 sides".
All, the Omnipotent Paradox proves is that the Atheist has a misunderstanding of what "Omnipotent" means, at least from a Christian standpoint.
---RFD (1 of 4)---
Interpreting the resolution:
That belief in an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being who is the source of all creation is in accordance with human logic and reason.
Pro bet the farm on the known and named uncaused cause, then failed to try to imply that God (as defined by the four O’s) would be that cause; which resulted in neither being suggested. Con on the other hand outlined a case for why those O’s are actually contradictory, which while challenged, was not successfully refuted.
A decent framing for the debate.
2. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent: con
This got interesting, but without describing with a thousand characters… Con leveraged this to accuse pro of putting God in a box (thus less than the big four O’s), and con tried to point to the cosmological argument as a way out. I liked that pro tried to use an analogy (I’m a big fan of this tactic), but con reframed it to successfully counter that the blind man should not randomly start to assume Blue exists without reason. (Side note: my kind jumps to the tax code as a better analogy for things we don’t understand but still talk about).
This goes to con but does not seal the debate.
3. Omniscient: con
Con argues that knowledge can be first person specific. Pro basically drops this down to what was already explained to be less than all knowledge (knowledge of knowledge is not the knowledge itself…). Pro further basically conceded this point with “Also, if non-propositional knowledge is included then God would have knowledge of what it's like to be a sinner. Which he, in keeping with theology, doesn't have.” And yeah, once you’re saying instead of all knowledge it’s only certain knowledge (which is already throwing out the relatable angle), it’s no longer all knowledge.
4. Omnipresent: con
Weird because this started off not too well for con (I basically did not see the confusion as a true paradox), and it initially looked like pro was doing better here (even while throwing the previous two points further under the bus with removing personal knowledge and relationships (God doesn’t exist as we can hope to understand existence…)), but he directly concedes that God “cannot exist within time” which means God is not “present in all places at all times” as the resolution demands.
Regarding the special pleading of “viewing this question through the lens of our own temporal universe misses the actual question,” the goal is to convince us judges that God fits inside rationality as we are capable of understanding it, as opposed to feeding point about silence.
5. Omnipotent: con
Con lists some paradoxes, to which pro insists so long as God doesn’t do those things they aren’t really paradoxes. Had it ended here, I would have called it a tie, but pro coming back with senseless stuff about moving another rock instead to move the unmoveable, it makes the notion of omnipotence seem silly (thus non-rational) instead of merely outside our realm of understanding (I don’t the tax code, but I still file my taxes).
Con: thanks for the Sith bit, it helped me get through this.
6. Omnibenevolent: con
The visual imagery from con went on a bit long, but point taken. Pro insists the examples given are for the greater good (I did not notice even one example connecting to this…), and that torturing and killing a baby in the woods (not saying all evil as con later did, but I am filling in one of his distinct examples) is only subjectively evil, but not really evil in God’s eyes… “morality doesn't actually exist and only exists as a subjective standard for each individual person to consider for themselves” which since God is required to be omnibenevolent, saying benevolence doesn’t exist is conceding that God doesn’t exist (the required four O’s were stated in the description).
7. cosmological and Teleological
This felt a lot like a couple Red Herrings. Neither of these implies God (with the four O’s under discussion). Pro himself called it out “ok, what does this have to do with God?” and then failed to connect it to any personal benevolent being.
Seriously, this late in a debate especially when complaining about not enough characters, is not the time to drag in a dead horse. Neither of these could hope to overpower the rest of the arguments, so they should have been focused on instead.
See above review of key points. Con won this by a large margin (had he only won one of those four major contentions, I would be conflicted… but all four, no doubt remains that he is the victor).
Not grading these, as I have a pet peeve about URL shorteners which both sides used.
I advise better use of consistent headings, even if subheadings shift around.
Be careful about lying in debates. Not enough of this stood out to quite assign the point, but it hurt credibility distracting from the arguments.
Key example: Con stated, “Pro also disputes that free will would exist in a perfectly moral world. Sure, there are some choices we could not make (like murder), but there are many choices we could make (like whether to be a painter or a philosopher). In such a world, the limited loss of free will is offset by the massive gains in morality” to which pro insisted that in no way addressed free will.
Feck this is long.
You didn't do debates because you weren't good at them. That is sad, please challenge yourself more often. Stop staying in your wheelhouse.
I'll try my best to get to it, looks interesting.
I'd also love a (impartial) vote from you on this, btw.
About a year ago, I had a discussion/debate with a friend of mine on this subject, and got thoroughly walloped. She argued the atheist position, and I argued the "suspension of belief" position. Since then, it's been on my mind a lot. It's a fascinating question, to be sure. Great for armchair philosophers like myself, particularly when one cannot find an answer one is satisfied with.
I don't think I'll be doing any more god debates, unless I take a devil's advocate position for one. I wanted to do a few solid debates on the question, and then move on to topics more traditionally in my wheelhouse. I mean, I studiously avoided theological debates on DDO because I didn't consider myself to be good at them. Now I can check them off the box.
So, I guess I did them for two reasons. To satisfy my newfound interest in the subject, and to expand the range of debates I could do/have done. I don't really want to be a one trick pony, debate-wise.
Lol what’s with this spate of God debates?
My 14-year-old self would’ve been eager to debate you on this.
Bsh1 if this is a rational debate you are having within yourself just drop it. Look at the people close to you who have a deep faith in Jesus Christ and ask yourself if that is the type of person you want to be. My guess is the people who have deep faith arpund you are loving successful people (in the ways that matter), and are happy. Ask yourself if that is what you want for yourself. You can be gay and accept Jesus Christ into your life. It is not being gay that is a sin but the acts of homosexuality, but they are no more a sin than when somebody says that their wife looks good in a dress that makes them look fat. We are all sinners and asking for his forgiveness and allowing him to work on Your heart is what matters. Bsh1 you are loved by your father who is in heaven and he values you coming home to him more than he values the sheep he already has (see the prodigal son story Jesus tells). You must seek God with your heart not with logic. (There is a good reason the world works this way, will explain later if curious.
Why is everyone presupposing in these debates that truth matyers when choosing what is rational to believe in. Seeing as how truth is unknowable the rational set of beliefs a person should have, should be based on what beliefs are most beneficial to have.
Thanks for the debate. It was fun.
You only have about 19hrs left to post.
The rules require you to post references in the debate itself.
You can use a url shortener like this [https://tinyurl.com/] to help, but the references do need to be in the debate.
I ran out of room for references in this post. I couldn't fit them in. I actually ended my arguments with 5 characters left and couldn't cut anything out and maintain the coherence of my arguments.
Here they are.
"Time and Eternity" By William Lane Craig.
Thank you for your reply. I believe this will be a good debate, based on your reply's quality.
Why in the Hell is it so hard for anyone on DebateArt to actually state WHICH GOD OF THE BRONZE, IRON, AND MIDDLE AGE they are taking about?! This does matter, for Christ's sake. 2+2=4! A God concept in general is weak, name the god instead because there were many in the aforementioned ages!