Instigator
Points: 34

Is Faith a Reliable Pathway to Truth?

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 5 votes the winner is ...
TheAtheist
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Religion
Time for argument
One week
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender
Points: 23
Description
I will be arguing that faith is not a reliable path to truth, my opponent will be arguing that it is. In this debate, Faith means belief in a deity based on a strong conviction and not any evidence. Example:
Person A: "I believe God exists."
Person B: "Do you have any evidence that God exists?"
Person A: "No, I believe based on faith."
==
DEFINITIONS:
"Faith"
1. Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.
"Reliable"
1. Consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.
"Pathway"
1. A way of achieving a specified result; a course of action.
"Truth"
1. In accordance with reality.
==
RULES:
1. No Kritiks of the topic.
2. You must follow the definitions in the debate description.
3. No forfeiting rounds.
4. No trolling.
5. Provide sources for quotes or statistics.
Violation of any of those rules is considered bad conduct.
Round 1
Published:
Faith is not a reliable pathway to truth. Using faith, I could believe that the world is flat and I could also believe that the world is round. But one of those must be false, since the Earth cannot be both round and flat at the same time. Therefore, faith is not a reliable pathway to truth, since you can justify both true and false beliefs using faith alone. 
Published:
You cannot hold two opposing views at the same time, like the example you gave, of the flat and round Earth. You can be unsure, but really hold two opposing beliefs? No way. If I am wrong, please give more realistic examples of a person holding opposing beliefs (and not suffering a breakdown from cognitive dissonance.)

My argument:

There is only one Truth. All Paths must lead to this truth. Including the faith of any religion. When you die, you will find the truth, be it God, annihalation, or something else. So no matter what path you take, it always leads to Truth. You may get dragged to it the hard way, but you're going to end up there.
Round 2
Published:
My opponent did not understand my argument. I never said that you could believe two opposing beliefs at the same time using faith. I said that you could use faith to believe either of those opposing beliefs, and that would make faith an unreliable pathway to truth. Here's an example:

Ancient Greeks believed that many Gods exist.
Some Ancient Greeks believed that solely on faith.
If faith was a reliable pathway to truth, their belief would be right.

Christians believe that one God exists.
Some Christians believe that solely on faith.
If faith was a reliable pathway to truth, their belief would be right.

But there cannot be only one God and many Gods at the same time. Which means that either the Ancient Greeks or the Christians are wrong. But if faith is a pathway to truth, then how could they believe in contradicting beliefs using faith? If faith is a pathway to truth, then how can you reach a false belief using faith? Surely, only one of those beliefs can be true, right?

If you can use faith to believe in both true and false things, then faith is not a reliable pathway to truth, since it can lead you to both truth and lies.

==

By the way, threatening me with going to hell or whatever you did in your R1 is not an argument.




Published:
You misunderstood my argument. I certainly did not threaten you with hell, mention hell. I do not even believe in hell. 

I will try again, and my argument will refute yours. 

All paths lead to the truth. 

Thus any path, including faith in any religion, will lead to truth. 

This is because we will all find out the truth when we die.

The truth could be God, annihalation (permanant death, like most atheists believe), or something else entirely. 

When I said "the hard way" this means whoever is wrong, be it the atheist, theist,or both, will be proven wrong at the end. 


Round 3
Published:
I misunderstood my opponent's comments on anihilation. He did not threaten me with hell (I thought that was what "anihilation" meant), so please ignore that voters.

==

"All paths lead to the truth. 

Thus any path, including faith in any religion, will lead to truth."
This is completely wrong. If all paths lead to truth, that means all beliefs is true. But all beliefs cannot be true, since there are beliefs which contradict other beliefs! This argument is not only nonsensical, it is also irrelevant. We are discussing whether faith is a reliable pathway to truth, not what is true and what is false.

Let's try a different example. Is faith a reliable pathway to truth? Yes it is, according to my opponent. Could I use faith to believe that my opponent is wrong? Yes I could. Therefore, if faith is a pathway to truth, then what is believed on faith must be true, so my opponent is wrong! Can't you see the flaw in this argument? My opponent can't, apparently.

Published:
 If all paths lead to truth, that means all beliefs is true
I believe this is wrong, and that I am correct. All paths technically lead to the truth, because there is only one truth. Whatever path you are on, you will eventually find the truth, by necessity, because of the fact that there is only one truth. You may be wrong at first, but truth will present itself to you in the end. 

That being said, there is only one path that can take you from beginning to end to the truth, so in that way, pro is sort of right. Any particular faith in any particular religion could be wrong. Thus any particular faith is not a RELIABLE way to the truth. I didn't think this through beforehand, and now I must concede the point. I thought I had a good argument, but I failed. 





Added:
My argument, while I believe was technically correct, didn't actually address, nor refute, pro's argument.
Contender
#6
Added:
--> @Dr.Franklin
To an extent, I agree with you. It is a trap debate for a theist to accept. However, as an agnostic, I have some points to bring up that I don't believe a theist would, which work around what the OP has stipulated in the description.
#5
Added:
Should you find that acceptable, I would ask to change the character limit to 15,000 per round.
#4
Added:
Would you be alright with accepting an agnostic to debate with? Of course, I don't hold this position you wish to argue against(nor would I hold the position you're arguing for), but I could certainly offer a different perspective for the position you want to argue against. While I don't believe in this position, I am willing to argue for it, and I don't believe a theist would bring up similar arguments, at least I've not seen any from one that I've pondered over.
#3
Added:
Too favorable for con
#2
Added:
I might take this if no-one else does.
#1
#5
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Argument from ignorance
#4
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Pros argument appears to be that all paths lead to truth: because when you die you get to determine the truth. On its face it seems that pro makes a semantic kritik of the term truth.
I may have been okay with this, but my problem is that Truth pro is talking about appears to substantially conflicts with the one intimated in the resolution - while pro sort of indicates a general intimated meaning of what this truth is; pro doesn’t link this back in to the resolution, or provide a definition that ties in with what con defined. If pro had added this, it may have been okay; but without it, pros argument appears ok it’s dave to be a kritik on its face - and somewhat unclear whether its definition affirms the resolution or not. As a result, I have to award this to con on this grounds.
#3
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Gist:
Ultimately a concession, but before that it was frustratingly unclear. This feels a little bit like the warm up ponderings we get in our heads before a debate starts.
1. Opposing Views
It really should not have been pro who brought up “cognitive dissonance,” but once it was mentioned con should have capitalized on it (potentially making a whole point of contention around it)... For con this only really got under way in R2 with the mention of contradicting belief systems introduced by monotheism.
2. Death and Taxes
Pro executed a decent Epistemological argument, that faith leads to death, and in death His Name Is Robert Paulson (this is a Fight Club refence pro did not actually make; he also did not mention taxes, but I suspect that old saying is what he based this K on). Con attempts to dismiss that as not an argument, and claim it included the common Christian torture dungeon threat (which it did not). ... Con then uses short term untruths (he likely should have focused on the destruction factor, that if that’s what’s waiting for us, which we can’t know to be wrong, then in death we will not know anything to include if we were right or wrong).
Regarding the No K rule... Honestly, I’m conflicted if I would call pro’s argument a K or not given that knowledge was the subject of the debate (I kind of think of K’s as out of left field, and this was very much the type of argument to be expected on this topic). Then again, one definition for K I am toying with is arguments which avoid the other person’s argument, so...
3. Reliability
This is what pro conceded on in the end (not that they were wrong, but that their case failed to wholly address this part of the resolution).
---
Arguments:
See above review of key points.
Conduct:
Given for concession.
---
If doing this again...
Advice to Con:
I would make this argument on two fronts. First religion (front load that popular modern religions contradict each other; such as only 10,000 Mormons get into heaven). Second would be government, as 2+2 should equal 4, but 1984 taught us that in politics it can equal a different number every day if you have faith in the party. The second front is important to make things easy for judges, as grounds the debate in knowable truths. On both, focus on the paths of faith leading to more untruths. ... Also never be afraid to Google a term someone uses.
Advice to Pro:
Before your final sentence concession, I was conflicted as to who won (I would have reread the debate as it was short). I hate ever telling someone not to concede (as way more people should), but don’t make it your first instinct, you’ve got a lot of potential to become a strong debater.
For your arguments, work on expanding things out more.
On this more references to where we could go (IDK, the great bubblegum forest?). Big thing on the current argument would be the time of false beliefs, we might live a hundred years on Earth, but if there’s an afterlife, it can be assumed an average of a million years there knowing truth (against eternity there’s reincarnation which might be fast, and annihilation would be 0 time knowing truth).
#2
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Conduct:
I've considered this as a tie, even though I would lean slightly towards Pro. I thought Con was passive-aggressive, but there was nothing particularly unconductful said.
Arguments:
If Kritiks were allowed I could understand Pro's argument. He positions it as no matter what faith you have, it will lead you, reliably, to the ultimate truth (what is actually correct in the end -- be it hell, annihilation, void etc.). However, Con forbade kritiks and I would have to consider this argument as such, because Con provided an example in the description:
Person A: "I believe God exists."
Person B: "Do you have any evidence that God exists?"
Person A: "No, I believe based on faith.
This leads me to believe that truth refers to the veracity of the particular religion; not 'The Truth' conveyed by Pro. Pro ended up conceding the key premise of Con's case in the final round. I would urge Pro to not concede too quickly; if you feel like you are losing continue debating -- it isn't all about who's objectively right, but rather who provided an argument with greater efficacy. Thus, I award arguments to Con.
Sources weren't used, hence tied. S&G is even, hence tied.
#1
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Both exhibited poor conduct by lobbing passive-aggressive insults at each other and neither had better arguments than the other.
Therefore I must award a tie.