Atheism vs. Theism: Atheism is more probable than Theism
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I'm going to do something different this debate and argue for the atheistic perspective. I haven't argued the atheist perspective in a while so I thought I'd give this a chance.
Atheism: The position that God does NOT exist
Theism: The position that a god exists.
Probable: likely to be the case or to happen.
God: For the purposes of this debate, "God" will be defined as the God of classical Theism which God is characterized as the absolutely metaphysically ultimate being with the 4 O's (omnipotent etc.)
1. Opening arguments
C1: God is incoherent
P1: Anything with contradictory attributes cannot exist
P2: God has contradictory attributes
C1: Therefore, the God cannot exist.
In philosophy there are several types of entities: (1) actual entities that exist (such as humans, cats, apes, etc.); (2) entities that could exist but do not (such as a fire breathing dragon); and (3) impossible entities that cannot exist due to their contradictory nature (a married bachelor, for example). I contend that the Christian concept of God is utterly and hopelessly incoherent.
Subpoint A: All-Knowing vs. All-Powerful
God is said to be both all-knowing and all-powerful. This leads us to an absurd contradiction. Since God has perfect knowledge about what will happen in the future, God cannot act in anyway contrary to that perfect knowledge. If I had perfect knowledge about tomorrow, for example, then nothing I can do will change that. Thus, a being with perfect knowledge cannot act freely contradicting the idea of an all-powerful god; indeed, the idea of any being with perfect knowledge negates any possible
Subpoint B: The word “God” is incoherent
If I ask 100 people on the street to define God or ask them what God is, I will get 100 different answers. This is hugely problematic for the Theistic position. God is supposedly unknowable and indefinable, yet we define God as having properties of being all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, present everywhere, and transcendent. For something to be unknowable and indefinable, the God of classical Theism simply assumes far too much. Thus, the most rational view is theological noncognitivism.
C2: The Problem of Evil
P1: If an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient god exists, then evil does not.
P2: There is evil in the world.
C1: Therefore, an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient god does not exist.
The Problem of Evil is one of the oldest arguments against the existence of an all-loving deity. Indeed, Epicurus noted: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
I’m sure would have no problem accepting premise 1. What about premise 2? Unnecessary evil undoubtedly exists through no fault of our own. For example, in WWII over 75 million people were killed in the worst genocide and bloodiest war in human history . If God were, in fact, all-good, then why didn’t He step in to stop this evil? On a biological level, when DNA replicates itself, it often makes serious errors that cause suffering and serious deformities. Neurofibromatosis, for example, causes tumors to appear all over your skin . If God designed this, then He did a Godawful (pun intended) job.
C3: Atheism better predicts our universe
Both Theism and Atheism makes predictions about what we should find in our universe. If Atheism were true, then we should find a naturalistic cause of the universe and life. As it turns out, we do. The Big Bang Theory and Evolution are both naturalistic causes of the universe and life respectively and are well-documented and well supported. Paul Draper put this into a nice syllogism form :
P1: We know that E is true.
P2: Naturalism has much more predictive power with respect to E than theism does (i.e., E's truth is antecedently many times more probable given naturalism than it is given theism).
P3: Naturalism is more plausible than theism (i.e., naturalism is more probable than theism independent of all evidence).
C1: So, other evidence held equal, theism is very probably false.
In this case, let E = Evolution.
Before I present evidence for evolution, I want to first provide some definitions:
A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can
incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses. 
A group of individuals that actually or potentially interbreed in nature. In
this sense, a species is the biggest gene pool possible under natural
Genetic change over many generations ultimately result in the emergence of new
in different species 
The change in the frequency of alleles over generations 
Evolution above the species level. Macroevolution encompasses the grandest
trends and transformations in evolution, such as the origin of mammals and the
radiation of flowering plants. Macroevolutionary patterns are generally what we
see when we look at the large-scale history of life. 
Proof 1: Fused Chromosome #2
If evolution were true, humans and other great apes share a common ancestor, then either humans have a fused chromosome or chimps and other great apes had a split chromosome. We found that human chromosome no 2 is fused, just as the Theory of Evolution predicts. Daniel Fairbanks notes:
“The DNA sequence at that site (chromosome 2) has 158 copies of the six-base-pair repeat found in telomeres in the middle of the chromosome 2 right where we expect these repeats to be if human chromosome 2 arose when two ancestral chromosomes fused with each other head-to-head at their telomeres.” 
If evolution were true, then we should observe the emergence of new species. Indeed, that is the very definition of evolution! It turns out that we have observed speciation no less than a dozen times . In fact, creationist themselves admit that speciation is real. Answers in Genesis, for example, uses speciation to make all the animals fit in Noah’s Ark!  On a hilarious note, they try so hard to deny that it is actually evolution and they try their best to rationalize it
Proof 3: Transitional Fossils
Creationists love to claim that there are no transitional fossils and there are still “missing links.” Wikipedia notes a list of over 100 known transitional fossils . One of my favorite fossils is Tiktaalik. What makes this fossil so fascinating is that it was predicted before it was found! It was in the exact geological layer that they predicted it to be .
Another great example of transitional fossils is that of whales. The fossil record is rich with that demonstrates step by step on how whales evolved from an aquatic mammal. 
This just scratches the surface.
I now send the debate over to con!
6. Fairbanks, D. Evolving: The Human Effect and Why it Matters. Page 16
9. Fairbanks page 137
13. Neil Shubin: Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body
I am supporting, as per description, “the God of the four O’s.”
- I needn’t show that theism is immensely probable, I must only show that the two positions could rationally be considered equal or more in probability. Keep this in mind, judges: if you are not thoroughly convinced that atheism is the only rational explanation, then by default I win the debate.
- Classical theism is not mutually exclusive with evolutionary cosmological theory. Evolutionary cosmological theory and theism do not contradict one another. To say otherwise, as Virtuoso implies, is an example of false dichotomy.
- Occam’s Razor states that that which has the fewest adjustable parameters (least assumptions) should be chosen. Things that can only exist with innumerable adjustable parameters cannot be labeled “probable” under Occam’s Razor.
- There is a saying employed by many atheists: “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Objectively speaking, to posit that the universe spontaneously created itself, inflated at speeds 10^1,649 times faster than the speed of light, and then eventually resulted in every living thing on Earth originating from an organic soup in a desolate lava wasteland 4 billion years ago is an extraordinary claim. Pro must be able to give undeniable proof that this was pure naturalism, or be subject to lose this round simply because of vast improbability. On the flip side, theism posits a mechanism by which these claims are made much less extraordinary: a God controlled these events.
Ask any scientist with merit, and they will praise the laws of physics as the constants that dictate the universe in an orderly manner.
I. Immaterial Realities
First and foremost, this argument commits the fallacy of "I don't know; therefore God." It is true that we don't know much about consciousness yet or how it works, but there is no need to jump to God. But it gets worse. Let's look at con's source. Con's source is called Bahai Teachings. As its name suggests, it is a website dedicated to the teachings of the Baha'i faith. Indeed, their "About Us" page states this :
Welcome to BahaiTeachings.org! We helped create this platform so individuals could share their personal perspectives and insights as they strive to implement the Baha’i teachings in their everyday lives. Therefore, the opinions expressed here do not represent any official views of the Baha’i Faith and BahaiTeachings.org is not an official website of the Baha’i Faith.
In sum, the story looks like a sham, confected by a once-brilliant but now failed neurosurgeon who reclaims his time in the spotlight by pretending that he saw heaven. He may indeed have had such visions, but the story around them—about his parachute episode, the weather, his call to God, and the fact that his brain wasn’t working—are crucial to his story, and they don’t stand up to Dittrich’s examination.
Based upon her academic training and personal experience, Jill helps others not only rebuild their brains from trauma, but helps those of us with normal brains better understand how we can ‘tend the garden of our minds’ to maximize our quality of life. Jill pushes the envelope in our understanding about how we can consciously influence the neural circuitry underlying what we think, how we feel, and how we react to life’s circumstances. Jill teaches us through her own example how we might more readily exercise our right hemispheric circuitry with the intention of helping all human beings become more humane. “I believe the more time we spend running the deep inner peace circuitry of our right brain, then the more peace we will project into the world, and ultimately the more peace we will have on the planet.”
I will first bring up the famous dilemma: "Is morality good because it is already good, or because God says it is good." Indeed, this dilemma I believe completely refutes the moral argument. If it is already good, then no god and no holy texts are needed; if it is good because God says it is good, then God could command us to commit atrocities. Furthermore, which "God" are we talking about here? The "God" of the Bible that says stuff like this:
the day of the Lord is coming — a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger.
. . . I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty. . . . Their
infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be
looted and their wives violated." (Isaiah 13:9–16 NIV)
if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will
chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your
sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat." (Leviticus
26:27–29 King James Version)
daughter Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall they be who pay you back
what you have done to us! Happy shall they be who take your little ones
and dash them against the rock!"(Psalm 137:8–9 NRSV)
(2:244) - "Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah
Heareth and knoweth all things."
(2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it.
But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that
ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know
(3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the
Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had
sent no authority".
Con's KCA goes against his position. Con says "Whatever exists has to have had a cause. Something does not spontaneously appear from nothing. Given this premise, and given that the universe evidently exists, the conclusion that the universe must have had a cause is the only rational one." If this is the case, then God also has a cause of his existence. So, what exactly caused God? If you say that God has no need for a cause, then your argument commits the fallacy of special pleading and is thus soundly refuted.
III. ID and Abiogenesis
I already touched on this point in my third contention in the last round. In that contention, I mainly focused on the issue of biological evolution. Since my opponent brings up the physical universe, I think I’ll bring up some points I find interesting.
First, let’s consider the mere size of the universe. The universe is 13 billion light-years across. We have found over 100 billion galaxies  and over 2,000 known exoplanets . One must pause to wonder why an intelligent designer would place that much effort into crafting a place for humans. Moreover, the universe is rather lethal to life. Gamma-Ray bursts, for example, release more energy in 10 seconds than what the sun will put out in its 10 billion + year lifespan . These bursts are so deadly that they could cause a global extinction event and may already have done so . Black holes are also abundant in the universe . These objects are so massive that not even light can escape its gravitational pull. This is not the work of an intelligent designer. Indeed, Richard Carrier noted in his essay Why I am Not a Christian that the Universe is, in fact, fine-tuned for the creation of black holes! . This fits perfectly in line with an atheistic worldview. He further writes:
Even if a God made this universe, it could not be the Christian God because no God who wanted us to know the truth would conceal it by making a universe that looked exactly like a universe with no God in it. The simple fact is that Christianity does not predict our universe, but a completely different one. Atheism, however, predicts exactly the kind of universe we find ourselves in. So the nature of the universe is another failed prediction, confirming our previous conclusion that Christianity is false.
If we apply Occam’s razor, it is abundantly clear that an intelligent designer did not create our universe.
If the creator of the universe invented the laws of reason, what then is the limitation on his ability to defy them? An artist is not confined to the lines he paints in his canvas, instead he exists outside and able to exercise free will upon it: creating new lines, erasing others, or defying them completely.
In order for my opponent’s argument to be true, God must make a decision at one point in time and thus be confined to carry out that decision on a later date. Yet, there is no temporal gap between a transcendent God’s willing and his acting. Rather, God is altogether outside time. He wills and acts simultaneously. Therefore, this argument is reliant upon false premises.
- We must recognize how amazing the proofreading systems for DNA replication is. When taking into account the massive task of continually replicating billions of nucleotides, one becomes amazed that our complex bodies do not make more mistakes than they do, instead of dismayed at how many get past the proofreading. Enzymes make mistakes at a rate of about 1 per every 100,000 nucleotides. During proofreading, DNA polymerase enzymes recognize this and replace the incorrectly inserted nucleotide so that replication can continue. Proofreading fixes about 99% of these types of errors. (1)
- Secondly, we must sit and admire the system that evolution certainly could not have achieved without a God. Let me reiterate something from my constructive:
For a singular gene to arrive by chance, as Creation 1, no 1 (June 1978): 9-10, explains: “let us use as many sets as there are atoms in the universe. Let us give chance the unbelievable number of attempts of eight trillion tries per second in each set! At this speed on average it would take 10^147 years to obtain just one stable gene.”
False Premise 2: Naturalism has much more predictive power with respect to cosmological/evolutionary theory than theism does.
- An existence without a cause is absurd.
- Naturalism posits that everything appeared ex nihilo.
- Therefore, naturalism is inherently absurd.
Judges, notice how much my opponent hounds on this argument and the argument on morality. All other arguments seem to be quite neglected. Ironically, the arguments my opponent focuses most on are the ones that do not matter! The points about the formation of the universe are more important than speculation, yes?
This is a pretty blatant strawman fallacy. “Goddidit” (This thing that we do not understand is evidence for God.) is NOT a fallacy when the very nature of a thing is immeasurable to science. Without being measurable by science, there is no way to explain certain phenomena WITHOUT God. In these cases, it is not “Goddidit” that is a fallacy, but instead the fallacy of indefinitely waiting for science to (never) answer your question when the answer is right in front of your nose.
“The hard problem of consciousness is represented by the qualitative experiences (qualia) of what it is like to be something. It is the first-person subjective experience of the world through the senses and brain of the organism. It is not possible to know what it is like to be a bat (in philosopher Thomas Nagel's famous thought experiment), because if you altered your brain and body from humanoid to batoid, you would just be a bat, not a human knowing what it feels like to be a bat....By definition, only I can know my first-person experience of being me, and the same is true for you, bats and bugs.”
In other words, consciousness is by nature an unknowable reality, and that makes God a whole lot more probable under Occam’s Razor.
“Is morality good because it is already good, or because God says it is good? Indeed, this dilemma I believe completely refutes the moral argument. If it is already good, then no god and no holy texts are needed; if it is good because God says it is good, then God could command us to commit atrocities.”
“This dilemma can simply be turned around on the atheist: Do you approve of an action because it is good, or is it good because you approve of it? If the latter, then your moral standard seems to be subjective and arbitrary, so you complain about God’s alleged arbitrariness. And if the former, then you are back to explaining where this objective moral standard comes from. As shown above, evolution can’t provide this, so the above Divine Nature Theory is back on the table.
Similarly for social theories of good—is something good because society makes a rule about it, or does society make a rule about it because it’s good?”
- what makes aggressive psychopathy non-rational?
- Why isn’t the sole purpose of every person to fulfill all in their self-interest?
- where is the rationality in sacrificing oneself for another?
- why would altruism exist at all in a world devoid of objective morality?
Occam’s Razor is the friend of the theist.
My opponent’s quote:
“If this is the case, then God also has a cause of his existence. So, what exactly caused God? If you say that God has no need for a cause, then your argument commits the fallacy of special pleading and is thus soundly refuted.”
Once again, Occam’s Razor is the friend of the theist.
“One must pause to wonder why an intelligent designer would place that much effort into crafting a place for humans.”
“Moreover, the universe is rather lethal to life.”
- If protons were 0.2 percent heavier, they would decay into neutrons, destabilizing atoms.
- the chance of finding such an atom as Carbon through the blind forces of nature would be less than 1 part in 10^40000.
- 10^50 blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik's cube.
- it would take 10^147 years to obtain just one stable gene.
Once again: It is impossible to create life with our labs. Things we can create in labs often do not appear in nature, not the other way around.
And so, when utilizing the rational mind and applying Occam’s Razor, it is absolute madness to believe the blind forces of nature arrived at current conclusions with probabilities of these extremities without a guiding process.