Instigator / Pro
Points: 0

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 3 votes the winner is ...
Ramshutu
Debate details
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Last update
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
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Rated
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30,000
Contender / Con
Points: 3
Description
1. Truth about reality is knowable.
2. The opposite of true is false.
3. It is true that the theistic God exists. This is evidenced by the:
a. Beginning of the universe (Cosmological Argument)
b. Design of the universe (Teleological Argument/
Anthropic Principle)
c. Design of life (Teleological Argument)
d. Moral Law (Moral Argument)
4. If God exists, then miracles are possible.
5. Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God (i.e., as
acts of God to confirm a word from God).
6. The New Testament is historically reliable. This is evidenced
by:
a. Early testimony
b. Eyewitness testimony
c. Uninvented (authentic) testimony
d. Eyewitnesses who were not deceived
7. The New Testament says Jesus claimed to be God.
8. Jesus’ claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by:
a. His fulfillment of many prophecies about himself;
b. His sinless life and miraculous deeds;
c. His prediction and accomplishment of his resurrection.
9. Therefore, Jesus is God.
10. Whatever Jesus (who is God) teaches is true.
11. Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God.
12. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God (and
anything opposed to it is false).
Round 1
Published:
1. Truth about reality is knowable.
2. The opposite of true is false.
3. It is true that the theistic God exists. This is evidenced by the:
a. Beginning of the universe (Cosmological Argument)
b. Design of the universe (Teleological Argument/ Anthropic Principle)
c. Design of life (Teleological Argument)
d. Moral Law (Moral Argument)
4. If God exists, then miracles are possible.
5. Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God (i.e., as acts of God to confirm a word from God).
6. The New Testament is historically reliable. This is evidenced by:
a. Early testimony
b. Eyewitness testimony
c. Uninvented (authentic) testimony
d. Eyewitnesses who were not deceived
7. The New Testament says Jesus claimed to be God.
8. Jesus’ claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by:
a. His fulfillment of many prophecies about himself;
b. His sinless life and miraculous deeds;
c. His prediction and accomplishment of his resurrection.
9. Therefore, Jesus is God.
10. Whatever Jesus (who is God) teaches is true.
11. Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God.
12. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God (and anything opposed to it is false).
Published:
Definitions.

I see my opponent does not make any definitions. So let’s start:

Atheism: “a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods”
Faith: “firm belief in something for which there is no proof”
Truth: “the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality”

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/truth

The resolution:

Given the definitions, the most charitable interpretation of the resolution is that “Atheism requires you to believe something without proof to some substantial degree.”

At its most basic level, as my definition shows, Atheism is not a positive belief but a lack of belief in God.

As faith requires a belief in something - the idea that atheism - which is a lack of belief in God - requires some sort of belief, is wholly incorrect and given the definitions the resolution is clearly refuted.

What do you need to have faith in to be an Atheist?

One main implication my opponent makes is that assuming that to be an Atheist you must believe some specific fact or condition - for which there is no evidence.

I ask my opponent, exactly what is it that you think Atheists believe without proof?


One of the main accusations of faith, regard to human and universal origins. Let me cover this:

Human Origins:

It does not require faith to believe that human being evolved from a universal common ancestor that lived 3 billion years ago. The reason for this is that there is substantial evidence that this is the case. Fossils evidence[1], including hundreds of transitional forms between major animal groups[2]; genetic evidence showing clear patterns of descent[3]; and morphological evidence in the form of taxonomy[4], Attavisms[5] and vestigiality[6]. Together with the fact we see evolution occurring today allows us to be convinced via evidence that human beings came to be through a process of evolution.

Universal Origins 

Another common misconception is that Atheists are required to believe the universe “came from nothing”.

At its root, Theists believe that God just exists, with no precursor or cause. 

Even if this particular claim is true: the idea that believing that universal laws of physics can exist without external cause seems to require MUCH less faith than believing that a transcendental superbeing, with a mind and personality can simply “exist” without being caused.

How could something with a mind exist without being created; what does God exist in? The number of unknowns that must be believed is greater than that of Atheists - so at its core - requires more faith.

Even then, most Atheists do not “believe” the universe exists without cause, they simply conclude it as the simplest explanation. It’s supported by tentative facts - such as quantum theory disobeying the laws of logic[7], and that it appears possible for something to come from nothing at a quantum level.[8]

Ideas like the Multiverse are not believed on faith - they are mostly place holders until more evidence comes in : an interesting hypothesis that invite testing.

In terms of universal origins the main issue is that we have no empirical data, and no real evidence to indicate how the universe was created or came about. 

While I have ideas about what is possible or not in terms of the universe, the truth is that I don’t know: I have no evidence for which I can assess claims against reality - so I do not know how the universe came to be.

Not knowing is the most honest answer that can be given to this particular question - and requires no faith.

Capital A Atheism.

Even capital A Atheism - Atheism whereby individuals actively conclude Gods do not exist - does not require faith, or to hold that position without proof or evidence.

Such conclusions are based on a solid logical footing:

1.) There is no direct evidence of the existence of any Gods.

2.) Contradictions and incongruities of human religions (such as indefinite time in hell based upon finite crimes; or factual statements about science described in the Bible being incorrect), indicate their human origins.

3.) Cargo Cults, and manufactured religions indicating human desire to provide explanations involving the supernatural of things they cannot explain themselves, further indicating religion is not supernatural but part of the human social psychology.[9]

4.) Multiple individuals having supernatural religious experiences, but from disparate and mutually exclusive religions that cannot both be right indicating that personal experience of God is likely due to human psychology rather than anything supernatural.

The above - and others clearly show there is a solid basis for presume that the very notion and concept of God was invented by humans, and has no basis in fact.


Rebuttals:

It is true that the theistic God exists. This is evidenced by the: 
a. Beginning of the universe (Cosmological Argument) 
b. Design of the universe (Teleological Argument/ Anthropic Principle) 
c. Design of life (Teleological Argument) 
d. Moral Law (Moral Argument) 

Pro offers no argument to justify these claims. Why do these things “prove” that God exists? 

Even if these were true, how would Atheists not being convinced by this argument require any faith?

The New Testament is historically reliable. This is evidenced by: 
a. Early testimony 
b. Eyewitness testimony 
c. Uninvented (authentic) testimony 
d. Eyewitnesses who were not deceived 

Again, Pro offers no argument to justify this claims. What is this early testimony and eyewitness testimony? How does he verify the testimony is authentic. How does he know eyewitnesses we’re not deceived?

Most importantly, how does pro use the claim that the bible mentions historical events, and that other sources mention general events in the Bible to justify that all the miraculous and supernatural claims the bible makes that were not recorded by any other sources?

In reality - the Bible may contain factual historical events or even reference people who were living. This does not automatically mean that all the fantastic stories about God, miracles, magic, and the supernatural should be accepted on their face without any subsequent corroboration.

This should be obvious: the historical existence of Troy, the war, King Agamemnon does not mean we should take Zeus’s existence and participation as true either.[10]


As before, the resolution is important: even if these were all true true, how would Atheists not being convinced by this argument require faith?

Jesus’ claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by: 
a. His fulfillment of many prophecies about himself; 
b. His sinless life and miraculous deeds; 
c. His prediction and accomplishment of his resurrection. 

Again, pro offers no actual argument for me to refute. Importantly, this suffers the same issue as pros previous point. These points are predicated on the bible being true, which itself is only based on taking the supernatural claims of the Bible on face value without any corroboration.

As before, even if these were all true true, how would Atheists not being convinced by this argument require faith?

Conclusion:

Pro offers no reasons as to why he considers Atheism to require faith at all - leave along requiring higher amounts than Christianity and other religions.

I have pointed our his positions suffer from lack of argument, no justification and key issues.

I have pointed out that with key definitions it is reasonable to conclude atheism doesn’t require faith. Even when considering the major unanswered questions of the universe, it can be concluded that Atheism requires no faith there either.

Further, I have also provided a key reason why disbelieving in God doesn’t require faith either.

In summary, it is clear that Atheism does not require faith in any position held, and so the resolution is clearly negated.

Sources:

[1] https://ib.bioninja.com.au/standard-level/topic-5-evolution-and-biodi/51-evidence-for-evolution/fossil-record.html
[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/shaenamontanari/2015/11/17/four-famous-transitional-fossils-that-support-evolution/
[3] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/universal-common-ancestor/
[4] https://www.britannica.com/topic/philosophy-of-biology#ref1115228
[5] https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/atavism-embryology-development-and-evolution-843
[6] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestigiality
[7] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/6546462/The-10-weirdest-physics-facts-from-relativity-to-quantum-physics.html
[8] https://cosmosmagazine.com/physics/physicists-make-something-from-nothing-with-virtual-particles
[9] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult
Round 2
Published:
1. Truth about reality is knowable.
    a. truth is absolute, exclusive, and knowable. To deny absolute truth and its knowability is self-defeating.
    b. self-defeating (and thus false) statements that are so common today. These include statements such as, “There is no truth!” (Is that true?); “All truth is relative!” (Is that a relative truth?); and “You can’t know truth!” (Then how do you know that?). Basically, any statement that is unaffirmable (because it contradicts itself) must be false.
    c. Truth is not dependent on our feelings or preferences. Something is true whether we like it or not.
    d. Contrary to popular opinion, major world religions do not “all teach the same things.” They have essential differences and only superficial agreements. All religions cannot be true, because they teach opposites.
    e. Since, logically, all religions cannot be true, we cannot subscribe to the new definition of tolerance that demands that we accept the impossible idea that all religious beliefs are true. We are to respect the beliefs of others, but lovingly tell them the truth. After all, if you truly love and respect people, you will tactfully tell them the truth about information that may have eternal consequences.
2. The opposite of true is false.
    a. People often get their beliefs from their parents, friends, childhood religion, or culture. Sometimes they simply formulate their beliefs on the basis of their feelings alone. While such beliefs could be true, it’s also possible they may not be. The only way to be reasonably certain is to test beliefs by the evidence. And that is done by utilizing sound philosophical principles including those found in logic and science.
    b. Logic tells us that opposites cannot be true at the same time in the same sense. Logic is part of reality itself, and is thus the same in America, India, and everywhere in the universe.
    c. Hume is not skeptical about skepticism, and Kant is not agnostic about agnosticism. Therefore, their views defeat themselves. It is possible to know truths about God.
    d. Many truths about God can be known by his effects, which we can observe. Through many observations (induction) we can draw reasonable conclusions (deductions) about the existence and nature of God.
    e. Truth in morality and religion has temporal and maybe even eternal consequences. Apathy and ignorance can be fatal. What you don’t know, or don’t care to know, can hurt you.
    f. So why should anyone believe anything at all? Because they have evidence to support those beliefs, and because beliefs have consequences.
3. It is true that the theistic God exists. 
    a. Beginning of the universe (Cosmological Argument) 
        1. Everything that had a beginning had a cause.
        2. The universe had a beginning.
        3. Therefore the universe had a cause.
     b. Design of the universe (Teleological Argument/ Anthropic Principle)
        1. Every design had a designer.
        2. The universe has highly complex design.
        3. Therefore, the universe had a Designer.
     c. Design of life (Teleological Argument)
        1. Life does not consist merely of chemicals. If that were the case, mixing the chemicals of life in a test tube would produce life. Life clearly consists of more than chemicals; it also includes specified complexity (which comes only from a mind). Therefore, materialism is false. (There are numerous additional reasons why materialism is false, including the fact that reason itself would be impossible in a materialistic universe.)
        2. There are no known natural laws that create specified complexity (information). Only intelligence has been observed creating specified complexity.
        3. The simplest life consists of amazing specified complexity— equivalent to 1,000 complete sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Einstein said, “God doesn’t play dice with the universe.” He was right. As Phillip Gold said, “God plays Scrabble!”
        4. Science is a search for causes that is built on philosophy. There are only two types of causes, intelligent and natural, but Darwinists philosophically rule out intelligent causes before they even look at the evidence. That’s why when Darwinists look at those 1,000 encyclopedias—despite observing and recognizing their obvious design—they assert that their cause must be natural. But if “Take out the garbage—Mom” requires an intelligent cause, then so do 1,000 encyclopedias.
        5. Spontaneous generation of life, which Darwinism requires to get the theory started, has never been observed. It is believed in by faith. And in light of the strong cosmological and teleological evidence that this is a theistic universe (and for many other reasons), the Darwinian belief in naturalism (or materialism) is also an article of faith. Hence, Darwinism is nothing more than a secular religion masquerading as science.
        6. You’ve got to have a lot of faith to be a Darwinist. You have to believe that, without intelligent intervention:
           a. Something arose from nothing (the origin of the universe).
           b. Order arose from chaos (the design of the universe).
           c. Life arose from non-life (which means that intelligence arose from nonintelligence, and personality arose from nonpersonality).
           d. New life forms arose from existing life forms despite evidence to the contrary such as:
              1.) Genetic limits
              2.) Cyclical change
              3.) Irreducible complexity
              4.) Molecular isolation
              5.) Nonviability of transitional forms
              6.) The fossil record
    d. Moral Law (Moral Argument)
       1. There is an absolute standard of right and wrong that is written on the hearts of every human being. People may deny it; they may suppress it; their actions may contradict it; but their reactions reveal that they know it.
       2. . Relativism is false. Human beings do not determine right and wrong; we discover right and wrong. If human beings determined right and wrong, then anyone would be “right” in asserting that rape, murder, the Holocaust, or any other evil is not really wrong. But we know those acts are wrong intuitively through our consciences, which are manifestations of the Moral Law.
       3. This Moral Law must have a source higher than ourselves because it is a prescription that is on the hearts of all people. Since prescriptions always have prescribers—they don’t arise from nothing—the Moral Law Prescriber (God) must exist.
       4. This Moral Law is God’s standard of rightness, and it helps us adjudicate between the different moral opinions people may have. Without God’s standard, we’re left with just that— human opinions. The Moral Law is the final standard by which everything is measured. (In Christian theology, the Moral Law is God’s very nature. In other words, morality is not arbitrary—it’s not “Do this and don’t do that because I’m God and I said so.” No, God doesn’t make rules up on a whim. The standard of rightness is the very nature of God himself—infinite justice and infinite love.)
       5. Although it is widely believed that all morality is relative, core moral values are absolute, and they transcend cultures. Confusion over this is often based on a misunderstanding or misapplication of moral absolutes, not on a real rejection of them. That is, moral values are absolute, even if our understanding of them or of the circumstances in which they should be applied are not absolute.
       6. Atheists have no real basis for objective right and wrong. This does not mean that atheists are not moral or don’t understand right from wrong. On the contrary, atheists can and do understand right from wrong because the Moral Law is written on their hearts just as on every other heart. But while they may believe in an objective right and wrong, they have no way to justify such a belief (unless they admit a Moral Law Giver, at which point they cease being atheists).
4.  If God exists, then miracles are possible.
   a. The essential characteristics of the biblical God can be discovered without the Bible by way of natural revelation—as manifested in the Cosmological, Teleological, and Moral Arguments. Those arguments, which are supported by very strong evidence, show us that this is a theistic universe. Since this is a theistic universe, only the theistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have “made the cut” of truth to this point. All nontheisms are built on a false foundation because they are wrong about the existence and nature of God.
   b. Since God exists, miracles are possible. In fact, the greatest miracle of all—the creation of the universe out of nothing— has already occurred, which means Genesis 1:1 and every other miracle in the Bible is believable. Arguments against miracles fail because they are based on false philosophical assumptions rather than observational evidence. As a result, they fail to disprove miracles. God can intervene in the universe he created despite what David Hume says.
   c. A true miracle would be an act only God could perform, meaning it would include Godlike characteristics such as supernatural power, intelligent design, and the promotion of moral behavior. By these characteristics, miracles can be distinguished from other types of unusual events such as providence, Satanic signs, psychosomatic cures, magic, and anomalies.
5. Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God (i.e., as acts of God to confirm a word from God).
    Due to his moral nature, we would expect God to communicate his specific purpose to us in more detail (i.e., beyond natural revelation to special revelation). God could use miracles as his sign to confirm to us his special revelation. Used in this way, a miracle is an act of God to confirm a message from God.
6. The New Testament is historically reliable. This is evidenced by:
   a. Early testimony
      1.) We have an accurate copy of the original New Testament documents:
          a.) While the original New Testament documents do not survive or have not yet been found, we have abundant and accurate copies of the original New Testament documents—many more than that for the ten best pieces of ancient literature combined. Moreover, nearly perfect reconstruction of the originals can be accomplished by comparing the thousands of manuscript copies that do survive. We have discovered manuscript fragments from the early second century and perhaps as early as the mid-first century. There are no works from the ancient world that even come close to the New Testament in terms of manuscript support.
          b.) Reconstruction is further authenticated by the thousands of quotations from the early church fathers. In fact, the entire New Testament, except for eleven verses, can be reconstructed just from their quotations of it.
      2.) The New Testament documents are early and contain even earlier source material:
          a.) Since the New Testament documents are referenced by other writers by about A.D. 100, they had to have been composed before then.
          b.) Since the New Testament documents speak as if the temple and the city were still standing at the time of their writing—and there is no mention of the onset of the Jewish war or the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem—most of the New Testament documents are probably earlier than A.D. 70.
          c.) We have very strong evidence that Acts was written by 62, which means Luke is even earlier.
          d.) We have source material that goes back into the 30s. Nearly all scholars agree that the death, burial, and resurrection testimony found in 1 Corinthians 15 comes from the time of those events or within a few years of them. Furthermore, there are at least 40 other creeds in the New Testament that appear to be of very early origin.
    b. Eyewitness testimony
       1.) The New Testament documents are early and contain even earlier source material.
       2.) At least 10 ancient non-Christian writers within 150 years of his life give information about Jesus, and their collective references provide a storyline consistent with the New Testament.
       3.) The New Testament contains at least four to six lines of early, independent eyewitness written testimony. We conclude this because:
           a.) The major New Testament writers record the same basic events with diverging details and some unique material.
           b.) They cite at least thirty real historical figures who have been confirmed by ancient non-Christian writers and various archaeological discoveries.
           c.) Luke peppers the second half of Acts with at least 84 historically confirmed eyewitness details and includes several others in his Gospel.
           d.) Luke’s proven trustworthiness affirms that of Matthew and Mark because they record the same basic story.
           e.) John includes at least 59 historically confirmed or historically probable eyewitness details in his Gospel.
            f.)  Paul and Peter provide the fifth and sixth written testimonies to the Resurrection.
         4.) Since this early, independent eyewitness testimony is within one generation of the events, the New Testament events cannot be considered legendary.
   c. Uninvented (authentic) testimony. There are at least ten good reasons to believe that the writers were honest men who meticulously and faithfully recorded what they saw.
       1.) include numerous embarrassing details about themselves
       2.) include numerous embarrassing details and difficult sayings of Jesus
       3.) include the demanding sayings of Jesus
       4.) carefully distinguish Jesus’ words from their own
       5.) include events about the Resurrection that they would not have invented
       6.) include at least thirty historically confirmed public figures in their writings
       7.) include divergent details
       8.) challenge their readers to check out verifiable facts, even facts about miracles
       9.) describe miracles like other historical events: with simple, unembellished accounts
     10.) abandoned their long-held sacred beliefs and practices, adopted new ones, and did not deny their testimony under persecution or threat of death
   d. Eyewitnesses who were not deceived
7. The New Testament says Jesus claimed to be God. His claims come in many forms: from direct “I am” statements to those that strongly imply his deity. His actions—including forgiving sins, assuming the authority of God to issue commands, and accepting worship due only to God—also reveal that Jesus really believed he was God.
8. Jesus’ claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by:
  a. fulfilling numerous specific messianic prophecies written hundreds of years in advance (Jesus is the only person in history who fulfills all of these prophecies)
  b. living a sinless life and performing miraculous deeds
  c. predicting and then accomplishing his own resurrection from the dead.
9. Therefore, Jesus is God.
10. Whatever Jesus (who is God) teaches is true.
11. Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God.
12. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God (and anything opposed to it is false).
    a. The revelation of Judaism is true, but it is incomplete. It lacks the New Testament.
    b. The revelation of Islam has some truth, but it errs on some fundamental teachings, including its denial of the deity and resurrection of Christ (Suras 5:75; 4:157-159).
    c. Only the revelation of Christianity is the complete, inerrant Word of God.

Could we be wrong about all this? It’s possible. But in light of the evidence, critics, skeptics, and those of other faiths need to have a lot more faith than we do.


Published:
Gish Gallop

Before I start,  Pro has made no effort in any shape or form to address any of my arguments or any positions raised directly or indirectly: his last round is lengthy and obtuse Gish Gallop, providing no detailed argument, no specific support or sourcing for any of his claims: with the expectation that I must refute each point. Of which I counted at least 20 individual core arguments.

Several of these individual points could be (and have been) entire debates in their own right.[1][2]

I fully extend all the argument pro has dropped across the board into my next round.

Note: I will address the vast quantity of pros claims as broadly as I can; this means this round will be substantial: but will be due my attempt to justify each core point Pro raises  in general, rather than launching a tirade of individual minor points as pro has done here. I am somewhat forced to defend a broad swathe of points given how broad an argument pro makes.


The Resolution

The resolution implies that Atheism requires faith. It is up to pro to explain what about Atheism requires faith to believe, and why this requires more faith than the contrary.

It’s hard to unpack what aspects pro feels atheism is required to believe without evidence.

Saying this, I will endeavour to list why not believing in God is plausible without faith for the key points pro raises relating to origins.

1.) Why does the universe exist.

Pro argues the universe must have a cause. For the purposes of this debate, I will agree.

To solve the issue of origins, this cause needs to be a) sufficient to produce the universe and b) not itself have a cause.

There is nothing that requires the cause to have a mind, to be an omni-benevolent superbeing, nor for that superbeing to be interested in our personal actions.

A multiverse that exists outside of time within which our universe exists fulfills those two criteria, and so is every bit as valid as invoking God.

Both have to exist without cause, both would explain the existence of the universes. 

Therefore believing the universe was created without God takes no more or less faith than Theism. As they are effectively requiring to believe a similar sentiment without proof. Saying this, Atheism does not need to explain how a mind can exists without a brain, or how an entity can exist external to dimensional, or any host of the logical absurdities of a superbeing that exists external to anything. Thus, as it requires believing fewer things, and so Atheism requires even less faith than theism in this case.

2.) The universe is designed.

Humans shape and form items into complex objects. 

While we know a phone or a car was designed, it’s mainly because we see them being designed and produced. We know the process, we know the parts it’s made up of. 

We never see analogous aspects in nature: we never see the physical designer, we can’t see any removable circuitry, capacitors; we see no physical tool marks to suggest the object was crafted. We do not see half of a supergiant star attached to a bright blue low metal star attached with bolts.

As a result, design can’t be invoked, as all we can say is that the universe, or life is complex. It has none of the key discerning aspects of design.

If a complex natural process can bring about the complexity we see in the universe, this would not require a designer. Pro must show such a process is reasonably impossible given no markers for design. Pro doesn’t do this.

The closest theists are able to come is invoking fine tuning. This is a terrible argument.

Fine tuning is the idea, that a universe that is actually hostile to life (we must live on a small portion of the only known planet in the galaxy in order to survive - and we will die instantly literally anywhere else in the universe), was actually fine tuned.

The idea is that while laws could have been made to make the universe less hostile to life: God didn’t so this - and instead simply tweaked the constants until life was possible.

That requires a lot of faith - and is actually a logically absurd belief.

In reality. We would fully expect to live in a universe in which the constants allow life to form - if this universe couldn’t support life, we’d not be here!

There could be other universes with different values of constants, the constants may be all related to a single universal constant, rather than being independent, and there could be multiple combinations of constants that allow life - eroding the concept of tuning. There is evidence to suggest these could be true [3][4]

So with the origin of the universe, the facts appear to support atheism, and seem to indicate the super powerful God concept is logically absurd. Atheism therefore requires less faith.

3.) The origin of life.

Given that pro argues that life cannot originate without God, and is objecting to evolution - it  seems pro is arguing for divine creation of life at some point in the past, rather than a slow progression of life forms over time.

This claim is refuted by the evidence that demonstrates life does evolve. It requires no faith to believe in something we can see happening.

The claim is also refuted by the fossil evidence that shows that life clearly changed substantially over billions of years, with primitive single cells organisms billons of years ago that made way with complex multi-cellular life.[5][6]

Darwin proposed that this is because life evolved, due to a variety of environmental pressures that led to some organisms surviving, and some dying : that life will change over time. This theory came with multiple predictions.

First, that there will be transitional forms: we have found more than is practically countable. We have transitions from fish to amphibian, ape to human, land based mammal to whale, reptile to bird.[7][8]

Given pro tells us that Evolution did not occur: it requires immensely more unevidenced faith to believe that life didn’t evolve - and yet somehow the fossil record and transitional forms are as predicted by evolution.

Evolution also predicted genetic relationships between animals: and predicts the specific patterns in conserved protein and markers in genes: IE, compare specific proteins between two animals, and how many random genetic mutations that cause no functional difference that are different will match how closely related those two organisms are. We can do this with proteins: viral markers, even human and ape chromosomes.[9][10][11]

We can also see evolution in the way organisms develop. We see that all organisms embryos develop in similar ways at the start, then diverge as they progress. This pattern shows how evolution actually works. 

Regulatory genes suffer mutations and alterations that change the path of embryological development. It can cause bones to be fused, or joined, it can add extra limbs - which may then be independently regulated into something else.[12]

This is why the larangyeal nerve in mammals wrap around the aorta: even in giraffes. The development can only be subtly changed in one go, it can’t be re-written to do something completely different.[13]

Occasionally, a regulatory gene that surpresses a feature that was lost can get turned off (or get turned on). When that happens we get interesting features called Attavisms. Humans with tails, dolphins with legs.[14][15]

To presume life evolved from a common ancestor, therefore is based on the overwhelming flood of compelling evidence to show it. It requires no faith whatsoever.

To believe otherwise, as pro appears to advocate; doesn’t require faith as much as flat out denial. 

In this regard; atheism requires no faith, and theism requires an absurd level of faith.

4.) “Information” can’t be created.

To be true, Evolution functionally requires an organism to be able to acquire new proteins and new functions.

The way this happens, is that a protein or other coding gene can be duplicated in the genome through s copying error.[16]

This means that the organism has two copies of the gene.

This second copy (or the first) can then undergo a mutation to change the genetic code of the gene and thus produce a new protein.[17]

As a result, two basic forms of genetic mutation can produce new genetic code that doesn’t exist in any other organism, or in the ancestor of that organism.

This means either pros highly abstract argument that information cannot be created is false; or for life to evolve as we know it, new information is not actually needed.

Either way, this aspect of life requires no faith- there is no technical problem to be explained

5.) “Specified Complexity”.

This is a notion created by William Dembski, and has been refuted multiple times.

Specified complexity is a measure of how likely a particular structure can come about as is; using an appeal to irreducible
Complexity.[18]

This absurd notion appears to ignore that evolution can build objects in functional steps, rather than all at once.

This was famously show with examples of how the flagella evolved (which has high specified complexity apparently), or the immune system.[19]

So in this case, no faith appears required at all.

6.) Abiogenesis.

So this one I thought I should wait till last.

Does it require you to believe something without evidence to presume life originated via a naturalistic process? No.

Let’s presume life originated naturally. What would have needed to happen? We would need to have some way that cell walls form, genetic material to form and begin replicating within those cells, and to acquire the ability to produce proteins, and also to replicate their cells.

If it was possible to do the above, then it would be expected that scientists would be able to find mechanisms and interesting ways that the above can be made to happen abiotically. They may not be able to replicate all - but being able to replicate some, or even most - would be enough to imply it could be plausible.

If it wasn’t possible for life to exist without being created, then there is no reason to expect that ANY of those things would be true.

So let’s see what can happen abiotically:

  • Amino acids, nucleotides and Vesicles (cell precursors) can spontaneously form.[20][21][22]
  • RNA can self assemble into chains on [23]
  • vesicles can be made to divide just by internal pressure from rna chains within [24]
  • RNA chains can be made to catalyze their own replication[25]
  • Basic mechanisms of generating proteins can arise from simpler origins.[26]

As there is no reason to believe that any of that should occur (and more is discovered every day), if life can’t originate naturally - the belief that no God is required is clearly informed by evidence, and so clearly requires no faith at all.

7.) Morality

Pro asserts morality is objective. Given that lions murder cubs of other males, chimpanzees engage in war; and other animals fight to the death, it seems pretty clear that morality is specific to humanity.

Rape, murder (in duels, for example), and genocide appear readily throughout the history without necessarily being viewed as immoral by this involved. Indeed, it was commanded by God in the bible numerous times.[27]

If I was born 2000 years ago, I’d find it moral to own slaves, to treat women as property, to murder other races. Etc.

As a result, it appears that what is considered moral has changed substantially over time - and doesn’t appear fixed and objective.

As a result, not only is the moral argument to support God completely destroyed by the obvious subjective nature of changing morality - but it is also objectively valid and supported by facts - requiring no faith to believe.

Best of all - it ties in with our understanding of evolution. For social animals to work as a team, whilst looking out for themselves, there needs to be some mechanism making animals conform to behaviours ideal for the group. A society where everyone kills and murders doesn’t last long.

Forms of Morality is found in other social animals too[28], and is reasonable to assume evolved to allow more cohesive social groups. It is also why humans are generally moral within their own group, but more immoral outside of it. Morality is only needed to protect your group - not competitors.

As a result, the morality argument requires more faith to believe if you are a theist. Morality is neatly and factually explained without God rather well.

8.) Biblical Historicity.

The Bible was a book that was written by men about other people. While many events or even individuals could be real individuals; the supernatural claims may be true.

If, for example, I wrote a book about David Koresh. Claimed he was the messiah, performed miracles, prophesied 9/11 and the coming of President Trump. We all know the person was real, but many of the fantastical facts are made up.

In 2000 years, you would hope historians would not take this book and presume that because 9/11 happened, Trump was President, and David Koresh was real and killed by the FBI just as the book said - that he was the messiah and performed miracles.

Yet, pro is expecting us to believe just that. It would be trivial for early Christians to invent stories to sell their Messiah. They would have to include and reference historical events - but none of that makes some of the miracles reported credible.

Conclusion:

Pro drops my original arguments about origins, I extend these to the next round.

Pro drops the issues with religion, and why it is reasonable to presume Gods do not exist. I extend these too.

In addition, pro drops my historicity argument: I have clarified it in this round and continue to extend the remainder.


Pro makes a massive Gish Gallop of points that cannot all be addressed. Instead of doing so, I have covered the broad evidence for naturalistic origins which clearly shows the belief that the universe and life arose with God is based on evidence, not faith.

I have refuted pros arguments that somehow evolution is impossible due to complexity or information, and I have refuted his view of morality: clearly showing that no faith is required to presume these are naturalistic without God.

Importantly - I have also shown how clear evidence refutes pros God, and pros beliefs too in the form of fine tuning, evolution, etc.

As a result, the idea that being Atheist requires more faith than being a theist is clearly and wholly refuted.

Sources:



Round 3
Published:
Beginning of the Universe

   It was 1916 and Albert Einstein didn’t like where his calculations were leading him. If his theory of General Relativity was true, it meant that the universe was not eternal but had a beginning. Einstein’s calculations indeed were revealing a definite beginning to all time, all matter, and all space. This flew in the face of his belief that the universe was static and eternal.
   Einstein later called his discovery “irritating.” He wanted the universe to be self-existent—not reliant on any outside cause—but the universe appeared to be one giant effect. In fact, Einstein so disliked the implications of General Relativity—a theory that is now proven accurate to five decimal places—that he introduced a cosmological constant (which some have since called a “fudge factor”) into his equations in order to show that the universe is static and to avoid an absolute beginning.
   But Einstein’s fudge factor didn’t fudge for long. In 1919, British cosmologist Arthur Eddington conducted an experiment during a solar eclipse which confirmed that General Relativity was indeed true—the universe wasn’t static but had a beginning. Like Einstein, Eddington wasn’t happy with the implications. He later wrote, “Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of nature is repugnant to me. . . . I should like to find a genuine loophole.”
By 1922, Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann had officially exposed Einstein’s fudge factor as an algebraic error. (Incredibly, in his quest to avoid a beginning, the great Einstein had divided by zero—something even schoolchildren know is a no-no!) Meanwhile, Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter had found that General Relativity required the universe to be expanding. And in 1927, the expanding of the universe was actually observed by astronomer Edwin Hubble (namesake of the space telescope).
Looking through the 100-inch telescope at California’s Mount Wilson Observatory, Hubble discovered a “red shift” in the light from every observable galaxy, which meant that those galaxies were moving away from us. In other words, General Relativity was again confirmed—the universe appears to be expanding from a single point in the distant past.
   In 1929 Einstein made a pilgrimage to Mount Wilson to look through Hubble’s telescope for himself. What he saw was irrefutable. The observational evidence showed that the universe was indeed expanding as General Relativity had predicted. With his cosmological constant now completely crushed by the weight of the evidence against it, Einstein could no longer support his wish for an eternal universe. He subsequently described the cosmological constant as “the greatest blunder of my life,” and he redirected his efforts to find the box top to the puzzle of life. Einstein said that he wanted “to know how God created the world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thought, the rest are details.”
   Although Einstein said that he believed in a pantheistic God (a god that is the universe), his comments admitting creation and divine thought better describe a theistic God. And as “irritating” as it may be, his theory of General Relativity stands today as one of the strongest lines of evidence for a theistic God. Indeed, General Relativity supports what is one of the oldest formal arguments for the existence of a theistic God—the Cosmological Argument.

   The Cosmological Argument is the argument from the beginning of the universe. If the universe had a beginning, then the universe had a cause. In logical form, the argument goes like this:
1. Everything that had a beginning had a cause.
2. The universe had a beginning.
3. Therefore the universe had a cause.
   For an argument to be true it has to be logically valid, and its premises must be true. This is a valid argument, but are the premises true? Let’s take a look at the premises.
   Premise 1—Everything that had a beginning had a cause—is the Law of Causality, which is the fundamental principle of science. Without the Law of Causality, science is impossible. In fact, Francis Bacon (the father of modern science) said, “True knowledge is knowledge by causes.” In other words, science is a search for causes. That’s what scientists do—they try to discover what caused what.
   If there’s one thing we’ve observed about the universe, it’s that things don’t happen without a cause. When a man is driving down the street, a car never appears in front of his car out of nowhere, with no driver or no cause. We know many a police officer has heard this, but it’s just not true. There’s always a driver or some other cause behind that car appearing. Even the great skeptic David Hume could not deny the Law of Causality. He wrote, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that something could arise without a cause.”
   In fact, to deny the Law of Causality is to deny rationality. The very process of rational thinking requires us to put together thoughts (the causes) that result in conclusions (the effects). So if anyone ever tells you he doesn’t believe in the Law of Causality, simply ask that person, “What caused you to come to that conclusion?”
   Since the Law of Causality is well established and undeniable, premise 1 is true. What about premise 2? Did the universe have a beginning? If not, then no cause was needed. If so, then the universe must have had a cause.
   Until about the time of Einstein, atheists could comfort themselves with the belief that the universe is eternal, and thus did not need a cause. But since then, five lines of scientific evidence have been discovered that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did indeed have a beginning. And that beginning was what scientists now call "The Big Bang" This Big Bang evidence can be easily remembered by the acronym SURGE.

   Every several years or so, the major news magazines—Time, Newsweek, and the like—run a cover story about the origin and fate of the universe. “When did the universe begin?” and “When will it end?” are two of the questions investigated in such articles. The fact that the universe had a beginning and will ultimately die is not even up for debate in these reports. Why? Because modern scientists know that a beginning and an ending are demanded by one of the most validated laws in all of nature—the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
   S—The Second Law of Thermodynamics The Second Law of Thermodynamics is the S in our SURGE acronym. Thermodynamics is the study of matter and energy, and the Second Law states, among other things, that the universe is running out of usable energy. With each passing moment, the amount of usable energy in the universe grows smaller, leading scientists to the obvious conclusion that one day all the energy will be gone and the universe will die. Like a running car, the universe will ultimately run out of gas.
   You say, “So what? How does that prove that the universe had a beginning?” Well, look at it this way: the First Law of Thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in the universe is constant. In other words, the universe has only a finite amount of energy (much as your car has only a finite amount of gas). Now, if your car has only a finite amount of gas (the First Law), and whenever it’s running it continually consumes gas (the Second Law), would your car be running right now if you had started it up an infinitely long time ago? No, of course not. It would be out of gas by now. In the same way, the universe would be out of energy by now if it had been running from all eternity. But here we are—the lights are still on, so the universe must have begun sometime in the finite past. That is, the universe is not eternal—it had a beginning
   A flashlight is another way to think about the universe. If you leave a flashlight on overnight, what’s the intensity of the light in the morning? It is dim, because the batteries have used up most of their energy. Well, the universe is like a dying flashlight. It has only so much energy left to consume. But since the universe still has some battery life left (it’s not quite dead yet), it can’t be eternal—it must have had a beginning— for if it were eternal, the battery would have died by now.
   The Second Law is also known as the Law of Entropy, which is a fancy way of saying that nature tends to bring things to disorder. That is, with time, things naturally fall apart. Your car falls apart; your house falls apart; your body falls apart. (In fact, the Second Law is the reason many of us get “dresser disease” when we get older—our chest falls into our drawers!) But if the universe is becoming less ordered, then where did the original order come from? Astronomer Robert Jastrow likens the universe to a wound-up clock. If a wind-up clock is running down, then someone must have wound it up.
   This aspect of the Second Law also tells us that the universe had a beginning. Since we still have some order left—just like we still have some usable energy left—the universe cannot be eternal, because if it were, we would have reached complete disorder (entropy) by now.
   
   U—The Universe Is Expanding Good scientific theories are those that are able to predict phenomena that have not yet been observed. As we have seen, General Relativity predicted an expanding universe. But it wasn’t until legendary astronomer Edwin Hubble looked through his telescope more than a decade later that scientists finally confirmed that the universe is expanding and that it’s expanding from a single point. (Astronomer Vesto Melvin Slipher was hot on the trail of this expanding universe as early as 1913, but it was Hubble who put all the pieces together, in the late 20s.) This expanding universe is the second line of scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning.
   How does the expanding universe prove a beginning? Think about it this way: if we could watch a video recording of the history of the universe in reverse, we would see all matter in the universe collapse back to a point, not the size of a basketball, not the size of a golf ball, not even the size of a pinhead, but mathematically and logically to a point that is actually nothing (i.e., no space, no time, and no matter). In other words, once there was nothing, and then, BANG, there was something—the entire universe exploded into being! This, of course, is what is commonly called “the Big Bang.”
   It’s important to understand that the universe is not expanding into empty space, but space itself is expanding—there was no space before the Big Bang. It’s also important to understand that the universe did not emerge from existing material but from nothing—there was no matter before the Big Bang. In fact, chronologically, there was no “before” the Big Bang because there are no “befores” without time, and there was no time until the Big Bang. Time, space, and matter came into existence at the Big Bang.
   What is nothing? Aristotle had a good definition: he said that nothing is what rocks dream about! The nothing from which the universe emerged is not “mathematical points” as Atkins suggested or “positive and negative energy” as Isaac Asimov, who is also an atheist, once wrote. Nothing is literally no thing—what rocks dream about.
   British author Anthony Kenny honestly described his own predicament as an atheist in light of evidence for the Big Bang. He wrote, “According to the Big Bang Theory, the whole matter of the universe began to exist at a particular time in the remote past. A proponent of such a theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the matter of the universe came from nothing and by nothing.”

   R—Radiation from the Big Bang The third line of scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning was discovered by accident in 1965. That’s when Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson detected strange radiation on their antenna at Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey. No matter where they turned their antenna, this mysterious radiation remained. They initially thought it might be the result of bird droppings deposited on the antenna by nesting Jersey Shore pigeons, so they had the birds and the droppings removed. But when they got back inside, they found that the radiation was still there, and it was still coming from all directions.
   What Penzias and Wilson had detected turned out to be one of the most incredible discoveries of the last century—one that would win them Nobel Prizes. These two Bell Lab scientists had discovered the afterglow from the Big Bang fireball explosion!
   Technically known as the cosmic background radiation, this afterglow is actually light and heat from the initial explosion. This light is no longer visible because its wavelength has been stretched by the expanding universe to wavelengths slightly shorter than those produced by a microwave oven. But the heat can still be detected.
   As early as 1948, three scientists predicted that this radiation would be out there if the Big Bang did really occur. But for some reason no one attempted to detect it before Penzias and Wilson stumbled upon it by accident nearly twenty years later. When the discovery was confirmed, it laid to rest any lingering suggestion that the universe is in an eternal steady state. Agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow put it this way: "No explanation other than the Big Bang has been found for the fireball radiation. The clincher, which has convinced almost the last Doubting Thomas, is that the radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson has exactly the pattern of wavelengths expected for the light and heat produced in a great explosion. Supporters of the steady state theory have tried desperately to find an alternative explanation, but they have failed. At the present time, the Big Bang theory has no competitors." In effect, the discovery of the fireball radiation burned up any hope in the Steady State. But that wasn’t the end of the discoveries. More Big Bang evidence would follow. In fact, if cosmology were a football game, believers in the Big Bang would be called for “piling on” with this next discovery.
   G—Great Galaxy Seeds After finding the predicted expanding universe and radiation afterglow, scientists turned their attention to another prediction that would confirm the Big Bang. If the Big Bang actually occurred, scientists believed that we should see slight variations (or ripples) in the temperature of the cosmic background radiation that Penzias and Wilson had discovered. These temperature ripples enabled matter to congregate by gravitational attraction into galaxies. If found, they would comprise the fourth line of scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning.
   In 1989 the search for these ripples was intensified when NASA launched the $200 million satellite aptly called COBE for Cosmic Background Explorer. Carrying extremely sensitive instruments, COBE was able to see whether or not these ripples actually existed in the background radiation and how precise they were.
   When the project leader, astronomer George Smoot, announced COBE’s findings in 1992, his shocking characterization was quoted in newspapers all over the world. He said, “If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God.” University of Chicago astrophysicist Michael Turner was no less enthusiastic, claiming, “The significance of this [discovery] cannot be overstated. They have found the Holy Grail of Cosmology.” Cambridge astronomer Stephen Hawking also agreed, calling the findings “the most important discovery of the century, if not of all time.” What did COBE find to merit such momentous descriptions?
   COBE not only found the ripples, but scientists were amazed at their precision. The ripples show that the explosion and expansion of the universe was precisely tweaked to cause just enough matter to congregate to allow galaxy formation, but not enough to cause the universe to collapse back on itself. Any slight variation one way or the other, and none of us would be here to tell about it. In fact, the ripples are so exact (down to one part in one hundred thousand) that Smoot called them the “machining marks from the creation of the universe” and the “fingerprints of the maker.”
   But these temperature ripples are not just dots on a scientist’s graph somewhere. COBE actually took infrared pictures of the ripples. Now keep in mind that space observations are actually observations of the past because of the long time it takes light from distant objects to reach us. So COBE’s pictures are actually pictures of the past. That is, the infrared pictures taken by COBE point to the existence of matter from the very early universe that would ultimately form into galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Smoot called this matter “seeds” of the galaxies as they exist today (these pictures can be seen at COBE’s website, http://Lambda.gsfc.nasa.gov). These “seeds” are the largest structures ever detected, with the biggest extending across one-third of the known universe. That’s 10 billion light years or 60 billion trillion (60 followed by 21 zeros) miles.
   
E—Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity The E in SURGE is for Einstein. His theory of General Relativity is the fifth line of scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning, and its discovery was the beginning of the end for the idea that the universe is eternal. The theory itself, which has been verified to five decimal places, demands an absolute beginning for time, space, and matter. It shows that time, space, and matter are co-relative. That is, they are interdependent—you can’t have one without the others.
   From General Relativity, scientists predicted and then found the expanding universe, the radiation afterglow, and the great galaxy seeds that were precisely tweaked to allow the universe to form into its present state. Add these discoveries to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and we have five lines of powerful scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning—a beginning, we might say, that came in a great SURGE.
   
So the universe had a beginning. What does that mean for the question of God’s existence? The man who now sits in Edwin Hubble’s chair at the Mount Wilson observatory has a few things to say about that. His name is Robert Jastrow. In addition to serving as the director of Mount Wilson, Jastrow is the founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Obviously his credentials as a scientist are impeccable. That’s why his book God and the Astronomers made such an impression on those investigating the implications of the Big Bang, namely those asking the question, “Does the Big Bang point to God?”
   Jastrow reveals in the opening line of chapter 1 that he has no religious axe to grind. He writes, “When an astronomer writes about God, his colleagues assume he is either over the hill or going bonkers. In my case it should be understood from the start that I am an agnostic in religious matters.”
   In light of Jastrow’s personal agnosticism, his theistic quotations are all the more provocative. After explaining some of the Big Bang evidence we’ve just reviewed, Jastrow writes, “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”
   The overwhelming evidence for the Big Bang and its consistency with the biblical account in Genesis led Jastrow to observe in an interview, “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover. . . . That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”
   By evoking the supernatural, Jastrow echoes the conclusion of Einstein contemporary Arthur Eddington. As we mentioned earlier, although he found it “repugnant,” Eddington admitted, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.”
   Now why would Jastrow and Eddington admit that there are “supernatural” forces at work? Why couldn’t natural forces have produced the universe? Because these scientists know as well as anyone that natural forces—indeed all of nature—were created at the Big Bang. In other words, the Big Bang was the beginning point for the entire physical universe. Time, space, and matter came into existence at that point. There was no natural world or natural law prior to the Big Bang. Since a cause cannot come after its effect, natural forces cannot account for the Big Bang. Therefore, there must be something outside of nature to do the job. That’s exactly what the word supernatural means.
   The discoverers of the afterglow, Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias, were not Bible-thumpers either. Both initially believed in the Steady State Theory. But due to the mounting evidence, they’ve since changed their views and acknowledged facts that are consistent with the Bible. Penzias admits, “The Steady State theory turned out to be so ugly that people dismissed it. The easiest way to fit the observations with the least number of parameters was one in which the universe was created out of nothing, in an instant, and continues to expand.”
   Wilson, who once took a class from Fred Hoyle (the man who popularized the Steady State Theory in 1948), said, “I philosophically liked the Steady State. And clearly I’ve had to give that up.” When science writer Fred Heeren asked him if the Big Bang evidence is indicative of a Creator, Wilson responded, “Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.” George Smoot echoed Wilson’s assessment. He said, “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”

What do atheists have to say about this? Atheists have come up with other theories, but all of them have their fatal flaws.

   The Cosmic Rebound Theory—This is the theory that suggests the universe has been expanding and contracting forever. This helps its proponents avoid a definite beginning. But the problems with this theory are numerous, and for those reasons it has fallen out of favor.
   First, and most obviously, there’s no evidence for an infinite number of bangs (after all, it’s not the Big Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang . . . Theory!). The universe appears to have exploded once from nothing, not repeatedly from existing material.
   Second, there’s not enough matter in the universe to pull everything back together. The universe seems poised to continue expanding indefinitely. This was confirmed in 2003 by Charles Bennett of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. After looking at readings from NASA’s latest space probe, he said, “The universe will expand forever. It will not turn back on itself and collapse in a great crunch.” In fact, astronomers are now finding that the universe’s expansion speed is actually accelerating, making a collapse even more improbable.
   Third, even if there were enough matter to cause the universe to contract and “bang” again, the Cosmic Rebound Theory contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics because the theory falsely assumes that no energy would be lost in each contraction and explosion. A universe “banging” repeatedly would eventually fizzle out just as a dropped ball eventually fizzles out. So if the universe has been expanding and contracting forever, it would have fizzled out already.
   Finally, there’s no way that today would have gotten here if the universe had been expanding and contracting forever. An infinite number of big bangs is an actual impossibility. And even if there were a finite number of bangs, the theory cannot explain what caused the first one. There was nothing to “bang” before the first bang!

   Imaginary Time—Other atheistic attempts at explaining how the universe exploded into being out of nothing are just as flawed. For example, in an effort to avoid an absolute beginning of the universe, Stephen Hawking made up a theory that utilizes “imaginary time.” We could just as well call it an “imaginary theory” because Hawking himself admits that his theory is “just a [metaphysical] proposal” that cannot explain what happened in real time. “In real time,” he concedes, “the universe has a beginning. . . .” In fact, according to Hawking, “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang.” So by his own admission Hawking’s imaginary theory fizzles when applied to the real world. Imaginary time is just that—purely imaginary.

   Uncertainty—With the evidence for the beginning of the universe so strong, some atheists question the first premise of the Cosmological Argument—the Law of Causality. This is dangerous ground for atheists, who typically pride themselves on being champions of reason and science. As we have pointed out before, the Law of Causality is the foundation of all science. Science is a search for causes. If you destroy the Law of Causality, then you destroy science itself.
   Atheists attempt to cast doubt on the Law of Causality by citing quantum physics, specifically Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. This principle describes our inability to simultaneously predict the location and speed of subatomic particles (i.e., electrons). The atheist’s contention here is this: if causality at the subatomic realm isn’t necessary, then maybe causality of the entire universe isn’t necessary either.
   Fortunately for science, this atheistic attempt to cast doubt on the Law of Causality fails. Why? Because it confuses causality and predictability. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle does not prove that the movement of electrons is uncaused; it only describes our inability to predict their location and speed at any given time. The mere fact that we can’t predict something doesn’t mean that something has no cause. In fact, quantum theorists acknowledge that we might not be able to predict the simultaneous speed and location of electrons because our very attempts at observing them are the cause of their unpredictable movements! Like a beekeeper putting his head in a beehive, we must stir them up in order to observe them. Hence, the disturbance may be a case of the scientist looking at his own eyelashes in the microscope.
   In the end, no atheistic theory adequately refutes either premise of the Cosmological Argument. The universe had a beginning and therefore it needs a cause.


   So far we’ve given solid scientific evidence (SURGE) for the fact that the universe had a beginning. But suppose scientists wake up one day and find out that all of their calculations have been wrong—there was no Big Bang. Given the wide scope of the evidence and the ability of the theory to correctly predict so much observable phenomena, a total abandonment of the Big Bang would be extremely unlikely.
   This is admitted even by atheists. Victor Stenger, a physicist who taught at the University of Hawaii, once wrote that “the universe exploded out of nothingness.” Stenger recently acknowledged that the Big Bang is looking more probable all the time. “We have to leave open the possibility that [the Big Bang] could be wrong,” he said, “but . . . every year that goes by, and more astronomical data comes in, it’s more and more consistent with at least the general Big Bang picture.”
   Indeed, in 2003 more evidence came forth that the Big Bang is correct. NASA’s WMAP satellite (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) confirmed the findings of its predecessor COBE and returned pictures thirty-five times sharper than COBE’s of the background radiation ripples. In fact, space observations are becoming so supportive of the theistic worldview that George Will muses, “Soon the American Civil Liberties Union, or People for the American Way, or some similar faction of litigious secularism will file suit against NASA, charging that the Hubble Space Telescope unconstitutionally gives comfort to the religiously inclined.”
   Nevertheless, let’s play skeptic’s advocate for a second. Let’s suppose that at some point in the future the Big Bang Theory is deemed wrong. Would that mean that the universe is eternal? No, for a number of reasons.
   First, the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the S in SURGE) supports the Big Bang but is not dependent on it. The fact that the universe is running out of usable energy and heading toward disorder is not even up for debate. In Eddington’s words, the Second Law “holds the supreme position among the laws of nature.” It is true even if the Big Bang is not.
   Second, the same can be said for Einstein’s theory of General Relativity (the E in SURGE). This theory, well verified by observation, requires a beginning to space, matter, and time whether or not it all began with a bang.
 
To be cont. in the next round
Published:
1.) Plagurism

Pro has lifted his entire last three rounds argument from the book. “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.” By Normal L Giesslar.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=3zrgdXIeRtwC&pg=PA94&lpg=PA94&dq=This+is+the+theory+that+suggests+the+universe+has+been+expanding+and+contracting+forever.+This+helps+its+proponents+avoid+a+definite+beginning.+But+the+problems+with+this+theory+are+numerous,+and+for+those+reasons+it+has+fallen+out+of+favor.&source=bl&ots=UzDumMrFTv&sig=ACfU3U2f9T2tSQg-0euXXIX5tsU3yLomOw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjPlre1mbfiAhVjmuAKHQHNDmAQ6AEwAHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=This%20is%20the%20theory%20that%20suggests%20the%20universe%20has%20been%20expanding%20and%20contracting%20forever.%20This%20helps%20its%20proponents%20avoid%20a%20definite%20beginning.%20But%20the%20problems%20with%20this%20theory%20are%20numerous%2C%20and%20for%20those%20reasons%20it%20has%20fallen%20out%20of%20favor.&f=false

I am supposed to be arguing against pro, not an author.

This is clear pro arguing in bad faith, and warrants not only a conduct violation, but warrants all of these arguments to be dismissed as irrelevant.

2.) Pro drops everything.

Pro drops the entirety of my argument from the previous two rounds.

Pro drops that assuming humans evolved, and life was not created requires no faith.

If pro had read my previous round, he would have seen the section “why does the universe exist” - this points out clearly why athiesm requires less faith than theism when it comes to the origins of the universe. Pro has dropped this, and each other argument.

I extend all these arguments across the board.

Pro also has not addressed any of the issues of biblical historicity - I extend these too.

3.) Origin of the universe

Pros entire last round was solely relating to the universe having a beginning (which I agree with and is thus moot), the reason why this requires no more faith than theism is covered in my previous round and I extend this again.

Additionally though: pros plagiarized statement indicates that somehow the Bible “predicted” the beginning of the universe.

This is flat out false.

Genesis 1 says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”

Genesis 2 and 3 says “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=NIV

The bible stated that earth and “the heavens” were created in the beginning, then afterwards light was created.

In reality, light came first, then the heavens, then more light, then the earth.

The bible doesn’t appear predict any real observable science: what pro is doing is more a post hoc rationalization.

This is yet another reason that atheism requires less faith: atheists are allowed to follow the facts, and it’s not required to twist itself into knots in order to validate inaccurate and incorrect stories.

Conclusion:

Pro hasn’t posted an argument. He is copy pasting from a book. Voters should treat these arguments as invalid, and ignore all of them.

Pro has not addressed any arguments I have made so far, in evolution, the origin of the universe, and hasn’t answered any specific argument that demonstrates atheism requires less faith.

Pro drops all arguments relating to intelligent design, specified complexity, and biblical historicity.

From all of this, pros position is wholly untenable, and con has clearly and irrefutably shown that being an atheist requires less faith than being a theist.






Round 4
Forfeited
Published:
I extend all my arguments.

Pros first, second and third round are all plagurized from the following book:

https://books.google.ca/books/about/I_Don_t_Have_Enough_Faith_to_Be_an_Athei.html?id=FPmV30uX1_4C&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y

Page 28: is pros opening round

Pro lifts his round 2 from Page 39 (self defeating truth), 57 (hume and Kant)

Pro lifts his round 3 from chapter 3, starting at page 73.

Pro clearly plagiarizes his entire argument verbatim.


Round 5
Forfeited
Published:
Arguments:

I’ve clearly showed Atheism takes less faith than theism. This negates the resolution. I extend all these arguments

Ive shown Pro plagiarized his entire argument verbatim from the cited book. Voters should discard all plagiarized argument
- meaning everything I have said is uncontested.

Sources:

I have supplied a set of well referenced sources to bolster the validity of my argument - pro has not.

Conduct:

Pro plagiarized all of his points, and forfeited two rounds.

No comments yet
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Winner 1 point
Reason:
Plagiarism
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Winner 1 point
Reason:
I'd like to thank both opponents for this debate.
PLAGIARISM:
Pro has plagiarized part of their argument, that's poor conduct!
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Winner 1 point
Reason:
Plagiarism. ... Oh and the other side did not plagiarize.