Instigator / Pro
0
1587
rating
182
debates
55.77%
won
Topic
#4521

THBT: Atheism is, on balance, more reasonable than Christianity.

Status
Finished

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

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
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0
Better sources
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After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Rated
Number of rounds
3
Time for argument
Two days
Max argument characters
10,000
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Minimal rating
None
Contender / Con
0
1317
rating
267
debates
41.01%
won
Description

THBT: Atheism is, on balance more reasonable than Christianity.
--
Definitions:
General terms:
· Christianity - the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices. In particular, Christians prescribe to the literal belief in the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and omnibenevolent being.
· More reasonable - To be an option that is based on or uses better judgment and is, therefore, more fair and practical
· Atheism - A lack of belief in the existence of God or Gods.
· Reasonable - agreeable to or in accord with reason; logical.

(Only Best.Korea may accept.)

Round 1
Pro
#1
Thank you, Con, for accepting. Best.Korea always makes for a challenging contender in debates. 
Preamble
As I am arguing in favor of atheism, I wish to show there is no convincing evidence for christianity and that current empirical research demonstrates a creator is not required for the universe’s existence. 

Genesis 

Genesis’s telling of the creation of the Earth and the universe is inconsistent with science’s version of The Big Bang and the Earth’s formation. 

  • Genesis tells us the universe and the earth were created synonymously. (Synonymously is used loosely, but within the timeframe of a single week.) 
  • Scientific research tells us that there would be a huge gap between the Big Bang and the birth of Earth. (Extending beyond billions and trillions of years.) 
9,200,000,000 years after the Big Bang (about 4,500,000,000 years ago) - the Earth formed.

Now it’s not just the explanation for time that doesn’t quite add up, but also the explanation for how it came to be is vastly different. 

  • The Bible’s version is out of chronological order and that everything was instantly spoken into existence.
  • Science tells us the Earth is a collection of asteroids/meteorites that merged together, becoming spherical. Having had enough cooling time, the planet then became capable of sustaining life. 

Con
#2
Thank you Sir.Lancelot for starting this debate.

Since we talk about what is reasonable, I simply must prove that "its equally reasonable to be a Christian as it is to be an atheist" or that "being Christian is more reasonable than being an atheist".


The problem of beginning
What caused "nothing" to become "something"? "Nothing" cannot cause a beginning of something. Cause must be "something". If "nothing" could cause something, then we would see something coming from nothing today. Things dont appear out of nothing today, and they never have. There is no proof of such thing ever happening, and there is no logical explanation on how "nothing" causes something.
That is, unless we add God to the explanation.
God is an all powerful being. An all powerful being can create itself out of nothing.
An all powerful being is a good explanation for the beginning of everything.

The problem of existence
Can things exist for no reason? No. However, every reason is also "a thing". Therefore, every reason must have a reason for its existence. That brings us to conclusion that endless number of reasons had to happen to reach where we are today. However, "endless path" doesnt have an end. Therefore, in order to reach the point of today, we had to reach the end of this "endless path". We had to cross an endless path and reach its end - a logical impossibility.
Therefore, an existence had to have a beginning.
Only God can cause himself to come into existence out of nothing, therefore only God can cause the beginning of the existence.

The problem of movement
As we have already explained, endless path is impossible to cross. Therefore, our path had to have a beginning or we would never reach where we are today.
Same logic that applies to reasons applies to movement. Every thing that moves was moved by something.
The first mover or the unmoved mover theory says that there was a first thing which moved, but wasnt moved by anything.
Only God can cause movement to happen out of nothing. Only God can be the first mover.

God's footsteps: The problem of clues
We dont have any clues that God doesnt exist. However, we have many clues that he does indeed exist. Great number of people believing in God, feeling and seeing God's presence in their lives and seeing God - these are all clues. God being the most logical explanation for beginning of everything is a clue of God's existence.
Therefore, going by clues, it is more likely that God exists, since there are clues that he does but there are no clues that he doesnt.

The problem of proof
What would be the proof for God? Seeing God? Most people see God's presence in their lives. Many people have even seen God, his kingdom and his angels, and have told others about it.
Therefore, if our senses are real, God exists. If our senses are not real, then nothing exists.
Proof is based on unquestionable values. However, if we accept Bible as the unquestionable value, then we prove God as Bible tells us that God exists.
There is an equal amount of proof that God exists and that you exist. You cannot prove that you exist without accepting the existence of your feelings as unquestionable. You have no reason to believe that your feelings exist. But you believe without reason. That is not any different from believing that God exists. Therefore, if you can believe that you exist and that your feelings exist, you can also believe that God exists. The strength of proof is equal for the existence of God and for the existence of your feelings and for the existence of anything.

Problem of widely accepted truth
If we say that reasonable is that which most people agree upon, then God is reasonable. Most people believe in God.

The problem of atheist principles
Atheist principles cannot be applied universally or in most cases.
Lets say that there is a village where only 4 people live. One person was murdered by someone. Now there are only 3 people in the village. There is no proof of who murdered a person. However, there are 2 people in the village who say that one person did it because they saw him, and they both said the same story. There are no other witnesses or any other proof. Every court will accept the story of those 2 witnesses.
Therefore, when we have the first 12 witnesses of Jesus who tell us same story, that is proof. They risked their lives following a man who promised them nothing on this Earth, who told them that some of them will get killed and some tortured.
These witnesses tell us of miracles performed by Jesus, which is why they followed him into death.
If that is not enough, we have over 1 billion Christians, who all stand as witnesses for the presence of God in their lives.

God's predictions coming true
God as Jesus also said that Christianity will be spread around the entire world and will be taught for all eternity. He said this at the time when Christianity had less than 100 followers.

The problem of all powerful being
All powerful being can create itself out of nothing, since having all powers includes being able to create itself. Therefore, even if God doesnt exist, he can create himself into existence at any time.

The problem of logic
Human logic can only be one of these 3:
1) Circular
2) Based on unquestionable values
3) Based on infinite reasons

1) is a logical fallacy of circular reasoning
2) is based on no reason
3) is based on endless reasons and impossible to prove or demonstrate.

Therefore, all human logic is flawed. However, when accepting this human logic, you end up proving God.
1) God exists because God created himself.
2) God's existence is unquestionable.
3) God exists for infinite number of reasons: God1, God2, God3...

The problem of science
Any explanation for the existence of the world given by science does not disprove God, since God can do anything, even lead scientists to wrong conclusions.
For example, scientists have no proof on how old is the universe. They can merely guess based on its assumed movement in the past. However, God can easily start movement at any point and position and make it seem like movement existed before the given position when in fact, it hasnt. God can also speed up movement, then slow it down. Therefore, guessing the age of the universe by its current movement speed and current position is incorrect, since we dont know the starting position or speed.

The problem of laws of the Universe
What created laws of the Universe? The most logical explanation is God, since God is all powerful and he can do that.

Christian perfect moral law
Moral law of Christianity is made up of the entire Bible, but it is summed up in very short version which is made of "10 Commandments + Charity + Prayer".
Christian moral law is easy for anyone to learn, even for a 5 year old child. Everyone accepting Christian moral law, even if only accepting some parts of it, benefits from that.
Christian morality is based upon an increase of life, on protecting the life and increasing prayer. It is really perfect for any society, because with an increase of life, society prospers the most.
The quality of a moral law is not just in how good it is in theory, but if it would be accepted by people in practice.
Christian morality is the most accepted morality in the world. Even young kids easily learn 10 commandments, prayer, charity, forgiveness and love.
Christians are famous for their charities, for their opposition to abortions, for valuing marriage and family unit.

The problem of evil in atheism
Atheism cannot explain why something is evil. However, atheists have one more problem. In Christianity, the fear of God's punishment makes people behave better. They think God is always watching.
In atheism, nobody watches and there is no punishment. So people who would be prevented from doing crime only by the idea of God, are not prevented by anything in atheist society.

The tragedy of the atheist world
In atheism, good people die and disappear. They suffer for the entire life, only to die and disappear. If you believe in reincarnation, then good people keep getting born again, only to suffer again and die again. Therefore, God is needed for good people to be rewarded.

The problem of birth rates and abortions
Atheism cannot possibly explain why giving birth to a child is a good thing. By all atheist standards, life is suffering. Why suffer more by having to take care of children? Children are expensive. You will save more money by not having children. Plus, you will spare your children of all suffering in this world if you dont give birth to them. Christians know that giving birth to children is good, since God will be praised more and since God commanded people to multiply.
Most atheists support abortions, which just further proves that atheism results in the destruction of life.

Conclusion
We have seen that atheism is not only unreasonable, but harmful. Atheists have no proof for their belief in no God.
By the problem of beginning, existence and movement, we see that God is the best explanation.
By clues, we see that God likely exists. By best morality, we see that Christianity is more reasonable than atheism. By witnesses, we see that God most likely exists. By widely accepted truth, we see that God likely exists. By proof, we see that belief in God is as reasonable as a belief that we exist, or that universe exists, or that anything exists. By atheist principles, we see that the principle of not believing in anything except that which is completely certain is not only unachievable, but also not followed by atheists themselves in many cases. By God's predictions coming true, we see the signs of divine. By the meaning of all powerful, we see that even if God doesnt exist, he can create himself. By the problem of logic, we see that logic and moral logic require God. By our feelings, we feel and see the presence of God in our lives. Therefore, atheism does not have any proof to prove itself, or to disprove God. Atheist world is not just unreasonable, but also cruel, since good people only get death and suffering as a reward, same as evil people.

Round 2
Pro
#3
Con is basing his arguments on Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways. 

The Five Ways makes a lot of bold assertions, to which it has given no great thought. Like the universe requiring a creator for its existence, but a creator not needing a creator to exist. 

It’s a contradiction. But even if we are to assume that these arguments apply, that raises the question. Which God?

With limitless options to choose from and Con defending christianity, he has not demonstrated that it defends the christian god.

All current scientific evidence doesn’t seem to lead back to a divine creator, so any arguments claiming so are assumptions and speculation at best. This naturally leads me to the point that for atheism, there is no convincing empirical evidence for Christianity.
Con
#4
The Five Ways makes a lot of bold assertions, to which it has given no great thought. Like the universe requiring a creator for its existence, but a creator not needing a creator to exist.
The divine being can create itself, therefore it can be its own creator.


Which God? With limitless options to choose from and Con defending christianity, he has not demonstrated that it defends the christian god.
Argument of Jesus's predictions coming true makes Christian God most likely to exist. Plus, argument of billions of Christians believing and feeling the presence God in their life does point us to Christianity being likely true.


All current scientific evidence doesn’t seem to lead back to a divine creator, so any arguments claiming so are assumptions and speculation at best.
As pointed before, atheism cannot be proven. However, Christianity can be proven to be more likely than atheism, which we see that it is since we have many clues of Christian God existing. If we go by proof, Christian God has the largest number of witnesses for his presence. Atheism cannot even have a single witness, since no one can disprove God by not seeing or not feeling him, as saying "i do not see you" does not lead to conclusion "you dont exist". However, "I see God", "I feel God's presence in my life" does lead to conclusion of God most likely existing.


This naturally leads me to the point that for atheism, there is no convincing empirical evidence for Christianity
There is no convincing empirical evidence for atheism.
Atheism is just a lack of belief in all Gods, where Christianity is a belief in a specific God. Therefore, if atheism is to be more reasonable, it must prove that no Gods exist. Not just Christian God, but literally all Gods known and unknown must be proven false for atheism to be reasonable.

The proof for Christian God:
1) Jesus's prediction came true
2) Christians had experiences where they saw miracles and angels
3) Christian religion is the largest
4) Christianity has a perfect moral system
5) Jesus's students followed him into death for no reason other than seeing the miracles he did. He promised them no reward on this Earth.
6) Christians feel God's presence in their lives.
Round 3
Pro
#5
BOP
As pointed before, atheism cannot be proven. 
This is the fundamental misunderstanding with atheism. Atheism makes no inherent assumption that God doesn’t exist. 

The natural position of atheism is to suspend belief in a deity until convinced otherwise. 

With factors like.:
  • Evolution. Micro-changes in a species over a long period of time. 
  • Big Bang. Rapid expansion of the universe from the form of a mere singularity. 
The model that atheists use to judge life on Earth and the universe is observable, much unlike things christians asserts are true without proof. 

The timeline of the Bible is 6,000 years but science has proven that Earth is a lot older than a million. 


Today, we know from radiometric dating that Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Had naturalists in the 1700s and 1800s known Earth's true age, early ideas about evolution might have been taken more seriously.

What models or empirical research do we have for observing the creationist version? 

None. 
All that I have found are unreliable and not supported by factual data. The “evidence” is selectively chosen to support only the constructive narrative. 
Con
#6
This is the fundamental misunderstanding with atheism. Atheism makes no inherent assumption that God doesn’t exist.
Atheism lacks a belief in any God. Lack of belief needs to be justified by reason. So in order to justify its lack of belief in God, atheism must prove that no Gods exist. Atheism must explain to us why the lack of belief in God is reasonable.


The natural position of atheism is to suspend belief in a deity until convinced otherwise.
As proven multiple times, atheists use different standard for proving God and for proving other things. They use special pleading. Hence, their standards are inconsistent.


With factors like.:
Evolution. Micro-changes in a species over a long period of time. 
Big Bang. Rapid expansion of the universe from the form of a mere singularity.
There is no proof that these are true. But even if they were true, they wouldnt disprove God.


The model that atheists use to judge life on Earth and the universe is observable, much unlike things christians asserts are true without proof.
As explained, most people have observed God and his presence in their lives. So if observable=reasonable, then God=reasonable. Plus, since you cannot observe that God doesnt exist, it is unreasonable to have a lack of belief in God, especially with most people observing God's influence in their lives.


The timeline of the Bible is 6,000 years but science has proven that Earth is a lot older than a million. 
I assume you are going to present us with this proof now?

Today, we know from radiometric dating that Earth is about 4.5 billion years old.
You have to prove that "radiometric dating" is correct way to meassure billions of years, and that God didnt create things in the position where they cannot be meassured properly. Unless of course, this is one of those things we believe in without proof?
Proof is by definition something that makes every other option false. Therefore, as long as the option "God could have done it" remains possible, there is no proof. Therefore, you cannot believe in anything with certainty.


What models or empirical research do we have for observing the creationist version?
This one is easy. I dont need to prove creation to prove Christian God.

Pro has not present us with any argument as to why is it reasonable to lack a belief in God. Reasonable means it requires a reason.