Instigator / Con

The Rationality of Faith 2


All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Voting points

With 2 votes and 2 points ahead, the winner is ...

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Publication date
Last update date
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Winner selection
Rating mode
Characters per argument
Contender / Pro
~ 1,686 / 5,000


This debate will last 4 rounds, with 3 days for each debater to post for each round. There will be 10,000 characters available to each debater for each round. Voting will last for 1 month. You must have an ELO of 1,505 to accept, and I would prefer someone who has completed at least one debate on the site as an opponent. I am taking the Con position.


The most rational response to the question of god's existence is to have faith.


Rational - in accordance with reason and logic
God - an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being who is the source of all creation
Faith - belief in God


1. No forfeits
2. Citations must be provided in the text of the debate as posted links (not embedded)
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
4. Observe good sportsmanship and maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. For all undefined resolutional terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
8. The BOP is evenly shared
9. Rebuttals of new points raised in an adversary's immediately preceding speech may be permissible at the judges' discretion even in the final round (debaters may debate their appropriateness)
10. Violation or rejection of any of these rules or of any of the description's set-up (including definitions), merits a loss


R1. Pro's Case; Con's Case
R2. Pro generic Rebuttal; Con generic Rebuttal
R3. Pro generic Rebuttal; Con generic Rebuttal
R4. Pro generic Rebuttal and Summary; Con generic Rebuttal and Summary

--> @Patmos @bsh1

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 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.

--> @bsh1 @Patmos

---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.

1. Overview
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.


Arguments: con
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).

Sources: tied
Not grading these, as I have a pet peeve about URL shorteners which both sides used.

S&G: tied
I advise better use of consistent headings, even if subheadings shift around.

Conduct: tied
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.

--> @bsh1

I'll try my best to get to it, looks interesting.

--> @Tejretics

I'd also love a (impartial) vote from you on this, btw.

--> @Tejretics

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.

--> @bsh1

Lol what’s with this spate of God debates?

My 14-year-old self would’ve been eager to debate you on this.

--> @bsh1

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.

--> @bsh1 @Patmos

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.

--> @bsh1


--> @Patmos

Thanks for the debate. It was fun.

--> @Patmos

You only have about 19hrs left to post.

--> @Patmos

The rules require you to post references in the debate itself.

You can use a url shortener like this [] to help, but the references do need to be in the debate.

--> @bsh1

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.

--> @Patmos

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!