Instigator / Con

God does not exist


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 1 vote and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

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Contender / Pro

For the third and (hopefully) final time:

Too often atheists get to play the role of skeptic, poking holes in theistic arguments and making believers in God bear the burden of proof. However, in so far as the atheist not only lacks belief in God but asserts that there is no God as a matter of fact, they have a burden to prove that claim. In this debate, Pro will have the burden of proof to prove the resolution; I will not have to show that the resolution is false, only that Pro has not shown it to be true.

I will not post anything the first round, giving the opening statement to Pro. Then, they will not post anything the final round, establishing a total of four rounds each (if there is a simpler way to accomplish that goal, let me know in the comments).

Round 1
As outlined above, opening statement goes to Pro! Here’s to a good debate!
Round 2
Seeing as Pro forfeited, I have nothing to respond to, and because they have the burden of proof, I have no arguments to give. Hopefully next round we can begin!
DISCLAIMER I am playing devil's advocate in this debate and believe in god outside of it (would even debate for Con under different circumstances).

Imagine if you created everything.

What then are you? Where are you?

You are something other than everything is. You are outside of all that which exists.

There is no version of God that you can hypothesise which exists other than one which falls short of the following definition:

spirit or being believed to control some part of the universe or life and often worshipped for doing so

(in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.

See, this entity is not some demigod that happens to be first in the hierarchy, no we are talking of the original core mechanism at the very most intricate level of reality that enables all to exist vs cease to exist at any given time. This entity knows all, controls all and judges all its creation if any element of it is actually randomised somehow.

While it's true that I keep speaking of this entity as if it exists, it is important for us to establish precisely what the hypothetical entity is and to not mock away the idea as too absurd, for it is not the unlikeliness of God existing (alone) that we are establishing but foremost the genuine real authnetic existence of it.

Is God real? Let's explore a little more.

This 'god' is consistently defined in the religions that regard it as real, as capable of handing us free will, yet there are also passages like this in the Bible:

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

Why did I paste all of that? It is all essential to understanding that the very scriptures said to be written by and for this entity highlight and extreme contradiction that runs deeper than just us lacking free will. If this entity is not only judging us for our acts based on its predetermined, precalculated decisions in creating us and all events that ensue throughout our life but furthermore has allowed multiple religions, sects and even atheism itself to proceed then this same entity that is said to be all-loving and the supreme moral authority is actually a mentally-torturing liar who has woven together a puzzle so secure and self-contradictory that only the most ingenious (and even then, not necessarily) human mind can 'solve' the puzzle to crack what God may even be. We have Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Pagan varirants, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, Jainism and many more (branching off of these, especially from Pagan avenues of polytheistic thought).

We must understand that if God does exist, this apparently all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful supreme moral authority is 'morally lying' to us, not even letting all of us access the same religions from birth or judging us fairly (considering that the God itself designed everything including our brain chemistry and is all-knowing an ever-present so it can't plead any ignorance whatsoever, especially due to the verses I just quoted).

This entity is not just that which created all (and so is outside all that exists if it is somehow 'real' at all) but is deceitful, hypocritical and toying with us, yet it is a moral authority?

How can this entity be real? Con will say 'but prove it can't be'. Yet, who really is using the scapegoat of burden of proof here? Not the atheist in this debate, not at all.

You see, the Theist cannot begin to explain to you how their God can exist, how it doesn't completely contradict itself in many ways and how it can then profess to be a supreme moral authority while also being very crafty and deceitful to many of us with all these different thoughts regarding it that it allowed to grow (none of which may be true, it's possible that the true theory of the God hasn't even been invented yet, if this entity supposedly does exist that is).

I say not only that all the above is the case but that more importantly, this entity cannot be proven to exist even if it exists because it very clearly, carefully has laid out so many false ways of thinking about it, implying that even God itself does not wish for you to approach the truth regarding it.

Thus, I conclude the most bold thing of all from the Pro side of this debate;

Wven if god is 'real' it demands that we think of it as non-existent withing 'everything that exists' (which is, by definition all that it created and how can God create itself?)
Round 3
Thank you, Pro, for your argument.

I. The Arguments

Pro's opening statement is unclear in its structure and vague in its argumentation. I distill three reasons Pro provides for affirming the resolution.

I.I. The diversity of world religions undercuts the claim that an all-loving God created the world. When examining the different ways humanity understands the divine, we face the conclusion that God must be "a mentally-torturing liar." Why? Because he "has woven together a puzzle so secure and self-contradictory that only the most ingenious...human mind can 'solve' the puzzle to crack what God may even be." I have two responses.

First, this is irrelevant to the resolution because it does not show that God does not exist. Instead, it is an argument against the doctrine of Hell. If an all-loving God would never create a Hell for those who do not believe the right things about Him, then we can conclude that there is no Hell awaiting those who "get it wrong" about God. If Pro's claim is simply that an all-good God would reveal the truth about Himself even without Hell as a consequence for unbelievers, then there is no reason to accept that claim. God has no obligation to provide an overpowering and all-encompassing revelation of Himself to the world. If Pro thinks otherwise, he owes us some argument.

Second, Pro's case doesn't even undermine the traditional Christian doctrine of Hell. (1) God's perfect love only implies that He must provide evidence sufficient for belief in Him. Theologians observe that God has created us at an appropriate epistemic distance from Him. The proof of His existence is adequate for those who seek it, but not so powerful that no rational person could disbelieve in Him. We are thus free to choose to look at the evidence and believe in Him or not. For those who do not sincerely seek after God, then Hell - being nothing more nor less than the absence of God - is the natural and justified outcome. (2) There is good evidence for the existence of God. It would take another debate entirely to lay out my case, but I think there are several strong reasons for believing in God, and the God of the Bible specifically. Evidence for the universe's beginning finely-tuned initial conditions, the very existence of the world, considerations about the foundation of morality, the very concept of God as a perfect being, and historical evidence surrounding Jesus of Nazareth imply that God exists. So, if Pro wants to put forward an argument against God from the fact that so many people do not believe in Him, he must (i) show that the doctrine of Hell is essential to belief in God, (ii) that those who do not believe in God to the day they die have sincerely sought and failed to find God, and (iii) that all the evidence for God fails.

I.II Pro writes that "[e]ven if god is 'real' it demands that we think of it as non-existent withing 'everything that exists' (which is, by definition all that it created and how can God create itself?)." The relevant doctrine - correctly stated - is not that God created everything. No verse of the Bible or Christian theologian of any stripe affirms that statement. Instead, the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is that God created everything outside himself. No part of God's existence implies that He created himself, so there is no contradiction here.

I.III "'[G]od' is consistently defined in the religions that regard it as real, as capable of handing us free will, yet there are also passages" in the Bible that imply we do not have free will because God knows and controls all things. Two responses. First, this is, at most, an argument against a Christian conception of God. As such, it fails to establish the resolution. Second, free will and God's foreknowledge are compatible, as are His sovereign control of the world and free choice. Even though God knows that in five minutes, I will set my computer down, it is still within my power to not set my laptop down. If I were to do something different from what God knows I will do, then God would have known differently. Concerning God's control of the world, I would say that all that happens is either directly willed by God or permitted by Him. He allows our various free choices and takes them into account in His grand plan for the world. We, along with God, are co-actualizers of everything that happens. God takes into account our choices and plans accordingly.

II. Conclusion

In short, Pro has provided no reason for thinking that God does not exist and so has failed to establish the resolution.

Round 4
Extend all the responses. 🙃
Pre-debate apology:

I am sorry that I linked Merriam-Webster dictionary in Round 2, that definition was this Cambridge Dictionary one:


It is very interesting that when I defy the all-loving and all-good nature of the Abrahamic God that Con instantly calls it irrelevant to the resolution basically writing two entire paragraphs to sidestep the problem of his definition of God faltering but that's fine, let's argue against an evil and twisted God who wants to deceive us and toy with us, giving every person a different level of exposure to each religion (exposing some 0% to certain avenues of thought about 'god') and then judging us all.

See, I didn't count on someone who identifies as Christian on their profile and who made a Debate that has a complaint about the cowardice of atheists in the description to ditch their own religion entirely in order to scrape a win in a debate about the god they cherish dearly. That's alright though, I'll still fight the good fight but I may lose this thanks to how low Con has stooped. To be clear here is what Con has done, despite identifying as a devout Christian:

  1. Ditched the idea of God being good or all-loving (and thus making God deceiving us about its true nature absolutely fine)
  2. Ditched the idea of any judgement by God applying to those who fail to worship it and/or believe in it correctly (heaven, hell, karma etc) 
  3. Ditched any concept whatsoever of morality within this god-entity.
Thus, it seems I was a fool to attack the morality of God but I would not have accepted this debate so readily had I thought my opponent would completely throw away their religion and defend an evil mastermind type of God in order to win the debate.

I guess my opponent thinks they have won this debate now but... The other attack(s) I had on God are not successfully defended against and I'm willing to flesh them out here.

To be clear, if something completely contradicts itself logically and physiologically cannot 'exist as a thing' if it doesn't contradict itself, I assert firmly that the thing can't exist as a thingless 'thing'. This is very easy to understand when I write it that way but this core argument was completely ignored by Con so I will reaffirm it.

If God created everything that exists, it implies (not just implies, it only makes sense) that God itself is an entity outside of that which is 'everything'. The only thing outside of the group that's 'everything' must be within the band of 'nothingness' or itself be 'absence of things'. 

The definition of the term 'exist' contradicts this:

to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions

to be, or to be real

With 'real' defined as:

existing in fact and not imaginary

Now that we got that out of the way, I wish to challenge the Kritik and stooping low that Con has done and reassert that the definitions of God provided in this debate all support my attack on God's moral integrity and honesty, to be valid.

If you would read the definitions I provide in Round 2 (which are the only definitions of 'God' provided in the entire debate), the 'spirit' 'worshipped', 'moral authority' and 'supreme being' elements of the definitions all are linked to the 'God' that is deemed to be all-loving and all-good.

  • Omnibenevolence - God is all-loving. Christians believe that this is expressed in many different ways. God sacrificed his own son for humanity, which shows how much he loves all human beings without exception.
The concept of omnibenevolence stems from two basic ideas of God: that God is perfect and that God is morally good. Therefore, God must possess perfect goodness. 

I will now defend why this is 100% applicable to the 'God' in the context of this debate's title and description and why it is Con who is playing dirty to deny it, not Pro.

To begin with, I went through the effort of checking Con's profile before accepting the debate, he is a Christian there but that is not the entire reason that this is unfair to me. While Pro is ditching his religion and the God he believes in, in order to assert a God that doesn't judge people or care about morality, in order to win this debate I think it's important to read the description of the debate and the tone it implies this is to be had in. There is absolutely nowhere in the debate's description that it is indicated that we are having a metaphysical discussion about an amoral deistic creator. This debate is listed under the 'Religion' category, not 'Philosophy' or 'Science' and definitely not 'Miscellaneous' (all three of these topics are able to be selected as debate sections, I'll prove it in the next Round if Con says I'm lying) which implies that this is about the Theistic elements of God, not the quantum physics areas of God or about a morally flexible God. 

Theistic gods have moral codes and the entities are consistently seen as moral authorities as well as idolised deities nearing perfection in how 'pure' their soul/spirit is. How exactly can God be said to exist in this manner if the moment I call out many flaws in God being this, all Con has to do is say 'yeah, you know what? Let's just grab the idea of Hell, afterlife and judgement as well as God being honest and/or good and throw them in the toilet in order to win this debate'?

This is dirty tactics and very unfair on me as Pro, since the debate's description clearly is a loaded trap as it implies Pro is meant to prove that atheists aren't cowards and are willing to step-by-step meet a burden of proof they usually dodge with regards to God existing. Nowhere in this debate have I been that type of coward who goes 'prove it, prove it' I did exactly as asked by the description and the moral integrity of God as an honest, benevolent supreme authority on what's good vs evil is indeed a fair thing for Pro to attack in order to win the debate.
Round 5
Neevr underestimate me again.