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The_Panda
10th October 2008, 1:47 PM
BEFORE YOU POST, BE SURE TO READ ALL THE BELOW. IT IS CRITICAL OR YOU MAY START DEBATING WITH A FATAL MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE TOPIC AT HAND.


Thread Approved by Babylon, Eszett, Profesco and PsiUmbreon.

I apologise first to those who I promised a thread earlier in the week, I’ve been quite busy with work et cetera and thus this thread has been delayed.

This is not an ordinary thread on God by any means: rather this is an opportunity for debating for debating’s sake and fundamentally your enjoyment. In this thread, contrary to almost every other religion thread, I will be arguing that there is a deity: defined for the purposes of this debate as an intelligent being that created and presides in some way over the universe. Please make note that this is not my actual opinion rather one I am assuming for the purposes of this debate.

I have noticed in general that religion threads, especially those on the existence of God, seem to be polarised with extremely hostile sides utilising extremely hostile language. Both sides are often closed-minded to the others’ valid points, and quite often there is an imbalance in the number of people on each side of the debate. Additionally some people are quite emotional and aggressive on the issue, leading to not a very constructive atmosphere for debate. The goal of this thread is to have a religion topic where debaters are free to both assume sides that they do not believe and even switch sides during the course of the debate: again treat the exercise as a fun one not a matter of “showing the light” to another debater (by the way, I’ve heard atheists use that expression before).

So basically, assume whatever side you want whether it is one you actually believe or not, but be careful to at the beginning of each post specify whether you are arguing for or against the existence of God, and be very clear if you are switching sides in the middle of the debate. Please don’t change sides for the purpose of mocking the other side as it’s annoying for all and makes you look like a complete git, so try to debate the best that you can on whichever side you choose to debate. I will be posting different arguments, beginning with the cosmological argument, as soon as this thread starts collecting replies. As a final note, doing this is not only thoroughly enjoyable but also allows you to gain much more insight into both the arguments of yourself and those you oppose (by this I mean your opinions, not the assumed stance for this debate). So, LVDI INCIPIANT!

chuboy
10th October 2008, 3:33 PM
http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=cqi5F5MqqTQ

That can serve as a discussion fuel. I'm a Catholic but I'm not big on Gods that tell you what to do, nonetheless the video was quite an eye-opener. And yes it's a bit strange but it's well worth it.

The_Panda
11th October 2008, 2:53 PM
I am arguing as a theist, although I do not believe what I am arguing.

That video is just creepy Chuboy :P

Anyway, I will now make my argument for why there is a God. I will first use my spin on the classic ‘cosmological’, or, ‘first cause’, argument. My argument basically has four steps:

(1) Everything that begins has a cause.
(2) The universe began.
(3) Therefore the universe has a cause.
(4) Naturalism here is more complex than God.
(5) Therefore God is a better explanation scientifically than an explanation without God. Ockham’s Razor… turned on its head! HA, TAKE THAT ATHEISTS!

Phase (1): Premise I

I say ‘begins’ for a very important reason because this is my argument. To reply back saying “What caused God?” is futile, because my argument is not that “everything has a cause”. Ooh, sneaky. So don’t turn my argument into a straw man.

The logic behind this premise is simple and intuitive: everything we have observed to begin has had a cause: it’s the principle of cause and effect that is assumed in science. What science does is we have an observation and we work to find its explanation. This first premise is just a simple restatement of this standard scientific axiom: and to deny this first premise Atheists, you will be denying one of the central tenants of your beloved science. So… if you want to use science against me in this debate… you have to accept my first premise as true!

One objection you could raise is that Quantum Mechanics allows for things to be without a cause. However, this confuses the notion of cause with predictability. Of course, Heisenberg taught us all that we can never accurately predict the behaviour of a particle; leading to the appearance that quantum phenomena may be uncaused. However as stated this is a confusion of two entirely separate notions.

Many would argue that God’s existence necessitates a cause: however a cause is necessitated only when something at a prior moment was in a different state: that is what I explained above and thus something that did not exist prior to a specific event has a cause. However if something has always existed or that it exists ‘outside of time’ then such a problem is circumnavigated. And such is God: a cause is unnecessary. To add to this a cause is also illogical as a cause implies a prior state, which God does not have (he is outside of time, “prior state” simply doesn’t make sense). Therefore, God does not need to have a cause. Of course you could cry foul here and ask why this doesn’t also apply to the universe, but that brings us to the next phase of my argument.

Phase (2): Premise II.

I’m sure we all know about the ‘Big Bang’, to quickly rehash, in 1915 Einstein published his theories of gravitation. In the 1920’s Friedman and Lemaître discovered solutions to Einstein’s equations which suggested an expanding universe, and if you go back in time you would find a point of singularity. In 1929 Hubble discovered the ‘red shift’ from other galaxies: the Big Bang theory began to take shape. Not all believed it, but in 1964 Wilson and Penzias detected Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (C.M.B.) literally the smoke from the gunshot. So if we accept the above, the universe ‘began’.

Now, let me clear up a few things. Often the erroneous assumption is made that the expansion of the universe is just galaxies moving away from eachother: that is not the case. Remember this is the solution to the theory of General Relativity; the theory of gravity in geometric terms. Basically gravity is space and time curving around matter and energy: since the Big Bang theory is derived from this space-time not just matter expands. Think of it like this: even though two points are getting further and further away, they are still in the same position relative to everything else as it is expanding. When this reversed, the opposite happens: the universe is compressed to a point of zero size and thus infinite density, called singularity. This is time and space “zero” if you like. I hope this explains it to anyone baffled by these theories.

Anyway in the past eighty years no real progress has been made in getting around the predictions of Friedmen and Lemaître: the Big Bang model is indeed part of the standard model of cosmology. Thus we must conclude that the universe to exist.

Phase (3): Implications of I and II

From premises one and two, this conclusion naturally follows. I don’t think this phase will be disputed at all due to its simplicity and intuitiveness.

Phase (4): Premise III

I’m sure this will be the hottest form of contention. The way I see it we can have two explanations for the cause of the universe: a naturalistic explanation and a theological explanation. The way I will argue this is show that the naturalistic explanation is inferior, superfluous and complex: thus its alternative is what should be believed. The very logic which many atheists use will be turned on its head by replacing “God” with “Naturalism” and slicing it to bits with Ockham’s Razor. Ooh, tricky!

Anyhow the main objections that may be raised will probably be based off string/M-theory or a multiverse, however I say this now and clear that such, unlike the Big Bang, have no empirical support and thus die under Ockham’s Razor. Plus they mainly deal with what happens after the Big Bang not what caused it, but anyway. I’m prepared to take down whatever naturalistic explanations for the universe arise that don’t have any empirical evidence.

Anyway the universe can’t cause itself, mainly because of both the constraints of time and of course common sense. Almost every naturalistic explanation involves a large number of unsupported hypotheses that must be assumed to be true without any empirical evidence. This may be the same for God: although it is inherently obvious that the theory of a creator is much simpler axiomatically than M or string theory. What I’m saying is that in the manner which atheists deny God as superfluous, it can be said that naturalism is even more superfluous when it comes to creation.

Phase (5): Conclusion

Thus the default and practical position should be theism. The central question is not “Does God exist”, but “Why does the universe exist”, to which of all the various answers “The God Hypothesis” is the most likely and best as shown above. Take that, *****es.

PsychedelicJellyfish
11th October 2008, 3:21 PM
I say that the video is cool, not creepy.

Arguing for the existence of God, or at least his having existed at some point.

I am fairly open to the possibility that a being of some sort was the cause of the Big Bang as that is the most simple explanation. HOWEVER, I do not believe that God presides over the Universe. If He still exists, I would imagine that he has aged to the point of senility and decrepitude (as in the His Dark Materials trilogy), or that he has died by now. Because I firmly do not believe that immortality is possible, even for a being capable of creating a Universe. To be honest, the being that caused the Big Bang would not have even had to be omnipotent. We humans now have the capability to simulate the Big bang, and we're hardly all-powerful and all-knowing.

Thus ends my highly unstructured post. I'll have to work on that.

ironknight42
12th October 2008, 1:23 AM
I am arguing the there is an Almighty God...
I have a very simple arguement...
That if you accept that humans don't know everything and that all that we know is some tiny part of all possible knowledge would it not be possible for there to exist an Omnipotent and Almighty God out side of human knowledge and perception.
If you accept this arguement as valid you should now in theory except the high odds of some kind of God existing, thus making you agnostic...
If you think there is anything wrong with this arguement please tell me

Atoyont
12th October 2008, 2:28 AM
Arguing as a theist, is what I am

As humans, what is known of what exists is very limited, even thousands of years after our creation or, in the view of an atheist, our evolution. [This following statement is from the point of an atheist] However, back then, intelligence was even more restricted, as science had not yet been developed, and from that came the belief in God, or multiple gods. As has been stated, a god is typically a being who created and has power over the universe. Atheists may argue that the universe came into being from an expansion of matter and time from an infinitesimally small and dense particle (the Big Bang). And, from this single event, all that we know as the universe came into being, with a natural flow guiding the development of life and the cosmos. They also argue that humans, or any other sort of being, no matter how intelligent, would be incapable of creating a universe, galaxy, solar system, et alia. However, there are micro-instances of humans producing things that would not be completely natural. Perhaps the greatest example of this are the omnipresent group of materials in the world of Homo sapiens. As far as I am aware, no plastics would exist if not for the meddling of humans. Additionally, plenty of chemical reactions that would not occur (or at least, not occur with such frequency) happen because of humans, and these are certainly instances of "playing God," so to speak.

To go back to the statement that what is known is limited, may I point out that there is a particular form of matter that fills much of the universe called dark matter. Very little has been learned and not much progress has been made on researching this substance. A possible explanation, albeit one that has practically no verification by science, is that of spirits. As a general rule, specters of lore and of fiction have the ability to pass through corporeal matter with no restrictions. These spirits could, arguably, just be energy. However, going by Einstein's famous equation, e=mc2, all energy could be contested to be a form of matter. Apparently, there was a scientist and doctor who weighed some of his patients at the moment of death; his study revealed that the human soul weighs roughly 3/4 of an ounce. This could certainly be dismissed by an atheist as a poor and badly performed implication of the scientific method, especially since there have been (as far as I am aware) no other studies done on the subject. However, assuming that this experiment was indeed legitimate and that there is such thing as a soul, then this soul, spirit, essence, etc., may be some of that matter which is unrestrained by typical mortal boundaries. This matter may be a more pure form than that of which is witnessed in every day life, or matter which is far closer to energy than that of atoms.

Yellow Torterra
12th October 2008, 9:24 AM
Im arguing for the existance of God.

It is all about your faith, but that is not the topic in this thread.

One of the misunderstandings with God is that some people may take the religion literally. Jesus came to Earth and he tought us simple, but meaningfull stories (I dont remember how they are called) and phrases. But some people took them literally. That was one of the reasons of his crucifixion(sp?)
Im my way of thinking, atheists had no problem with God, but rather the church itself. (If you didnt understand the underlined words, study a bit of middle age history) So because of that families stopped going to church, eventually lost faith and love to God, entire generations followed their ancestors path and eventually the discontent with church was misunderstood and they got discontent to the whole religion.
One example of the previous was the Protestant Reformation,When Martin Luther had a miscontent with the church because of them selling forgivness. He was excomulged and chased, then it came Calvin. This brang the Contra-Reformation, wich is the base of the actual Catholic church, but the reformers didnt leave God, but rather the church.

If that was off topic I will simplify my thougt in one or two sentences

The human needs to believe in something, if not life has no meaning.

For example, assuming The_Panda is atheist, he has to believe in something, even science counts.

If life has no meaning, then, why do we live?

The Director
13th October 2008, 11:31 PM
Arguing as Atheist

Life has no meaning. Meaning implies purpose, purpose implies a creator. As an atheist this makes life have no meaning. We are merely accidents in an enormous universe were in being so large most things if not all have happened.

Point 1: Big Bang, First Cause
We do have proof from science and so on that the big bang happened in one form or another maybe not with a bang but did happen. We also know that the Universe is expanding and (although this is theoretical) will eventually retract into the Big Crunch. Now say that the Big Crunch will happen and all the particles in the Universe crunch back into a singularity. This Crunch would result into a Fusion Reaction which is how our sun works. The Fusion reaction would eventually run out of fuel leaving several unstable materials. This enourmous amount of unstable material would then circle in each others gravitational field eventually leading to a collision. This highly unstable material would then make the kind of explosion only a whole universe exploding would create. Which is the big bang. My point is that this process is in a circle. And a circle has no beginning or end. If you argue that energy is not lost in this process then it will go on continuosly, it is not lost because the entire universe and all the energy converges back into a singularity during the big crunch. This circular process implies that there was no beginning and therefore no end. The first cause argument therefore becomes null and void. If you would argue that God has no first cause then why does the Universe need a first cause? And finally why does God have to be a Omnipotent or all those other Omni things. Why couldn't man or some other life form have done it? Man has created life before, whats to say a universe isn't within his grasp.

Point 2: Animals and Humans
The world is a cruel place. That's simple enough, the world itself is completely impassive and so is the rest of the universe. The concept of good and evil is a human concept designed for the purpose of keeping people in line. Without this concept we would not of flourished as a society such as ours. Animals don't have this concept and have therefore not flourished as man kind has. However animals do show the concept of greed. This can be shown in an ape that does not share its fruit. Back in our early days of primitive man we didn't have the concept of good and evil and were merely kept alive by our usefulness and when that waned so too did we. This is again shown in animals when lion decides a antelope is more use dead and as food than alive and just skipping around eating grass or whatever. As life style soon became better it soon became apparent that some parts of the population were useless. Some would want to kill us the useless ones off and others would argue that they still contributed to the world. To resolve this argument they placed laws and breaking them was evil and abiding by them was good. To back up this point heaven and hell were created upon the basis of God and Death. The problem with death was that we couldn't abide by the thought of not existing and so we created an after life. This worry about the future is not shown in animals. They understand death when it happens but it soon passes from their memories and they never really think properly about something like "hey thats going to happen to me". This basis on not thinking about the past or future beyond "whats for breakfast" explains how a human needs both an after life and God when an animal doesn't. As we started thinking about the past and what we could not explain such as the sun rising etc we needed an explanation for the question filled people. And so the concept of God or Gods were born based upon what we knew at the time.
To sum it up the only difference between an animal and a human is that a humans concept of time makes him need an after life and God, while an animals concept of time does not need either God or an after life. This would imply that God is a human concept as no other animal shows it but shows signs of other human concepts like greed so could show the concept of God.

Point 3: Our world, not the Lord's
Final point for the moment. If you pick up a newspaper then you hear stories of death, corruption, theft, natural disasters etc. Now although this would be exaggerated by the papers the basic truth comes in between the lines. Now why would a God allow this to happen? There are several possible reasons.
1: He/She* doesn't exist or have the power to stop it.
2: He/She does exist, and has the power to stop it but chooses not to, either for their own enjoyment or reasons.
3: He/She doesn't care about us.

Through the process of elimination 1 will be the one I support.
2: If God does it for enjoyment, then he isn't something to be worshiped. For his own reasons, I'll put it to you like this. Over the last 2000 years the world has been getting steadily better. Laws are strongly reinforced and the quality of life for some has got better. If God was trying to push us into something better via natural disasters then he has succeeded. But despite this change natural disasters still happen and seemingly more frequently than before. This makes it seem that this is not God's plan. If he makes natural disasters happen to stop something worse than Hitler why didn't he stop Hitler in the first place? And lastly, if God made natural disasters to benefit man kind in some way was he thinking about all those that didn't benefit from it?
3: If God didn't care about us why did he create us in the first place. Its like a pet or plant, you need to take care of it otherwise it dies. Hmm not a cheery thought.
That's all for the moment.


Remember this is my opinion and if you don't like it fine, i'm just offering my argument. If I broke any rules of this thread or site then sorry and if I insulted someone or their religion then again sorry.

The Thrashmeister
13th October 2008, 11:40 PM
Arguing as a believer of God
I am Roman Catholic, but I'm not gonna argue that my God exists... rather that a god has to exist, or at least some higher power that keeps the world in order. Or at least some higher power that created the world.

Honestly, my only evidence is that we exist. Sure, we could have evolved from lesser beings. I even believe in both creationism and evolution.
And sure, the world and all matter could have came to be by way of the Big Bang. Yeah, I believe that too.
But if I'm not mistaken (please do correct me if I'm wrong), the Big Bang theory postulates that all reality expanded from a single point in space.
But where did that single point come from? That single point was indeed reality, and the Big Bang theory doesn't account for that single point.
Even if my upbringings weren't Christian, I'm pretty sure that I would believe this quite strongly, because it really has nothing to do with beliefs or morals or any unprovable stuff like that. It's just science. It's just sense.

In response to those who say that if a god exists, he/she is doing bad at his/her job, let me just speak as a Christian for a moment. We believe that all things happen for a reason, and that God "works in mysterious ways." Human beings are impatient. We expect instant results and instant gratification. Unfortunately, my God doesn't work that way. And I'm sure other gods don't work that way either.

Sorry if this isn't following the rules of the debate forum... :/
I'm not a regular here but this thread just caught my attention.

nomistu
20th October 2008, 10:29 PM
Arguing as a believer of God
I would have written much more but thrashmeister posted before me.
I do belive in god because i am raised among jehovas wittnessess but i dont follow all the rules (or whatever it is called in english) in the bible.
I follow most of the bible just because i dont wan to be like all the rap-wannabes that were back at my last school. but i dont follow the whole bible like thou shalt not hate or whatever it is.
The reason that i dont follow all the bible is that i dont want to live in a eternal paradise where i cant listen to metal and do "certain" things before marriage and so on.

my argument is: i would like to live in a paradise for all eternity but i think it would be boring.

Mewtwo152
20th October 2008, 11:15 PM
Arguing as a Roman Catholic
I dunno. Something exists to me, but its hard to explain. I think that there is some sort of higher power. What else determines everything? Not luck. Its like in this one part of the Bible when scribes are talking and then the Holy Spirit descends on them and everyone can hear them speaking in there own language. Even if god doesn't exist there is a higher power, somewhere.

The Thrashmeister
20th October 2008, 11:35 PM
my argument is: i would like to live in a paradise for all eternity but i think it would be boring.

Sorry, how exactly is that evidence that a deity exists?

The Admiral
21st October 2008, 4:22 PM
Arguing as a fence-sitter agnostic.


Arguing as a believer of God
I am Roman Catholic, but I'm not gonna argue that my God exists... rather that [I]a god has to exist, or at least some higher power that keeps the world in order. Or at least some higher power that created the world.

Good that you're not going to use this to propagate your own god. If a higher power exists, it's not necessarily yours.


Honestly, my only evidence is that we exist. Sure, we could have evolved from lesser beings. I even believe in both creationism and evolution.
And sure, the world and all matter could have came to be by way of the Big Bang. Yeah, I believe that too.
But if I'm not mistaken (please do correct me if I'm wrong), the Big Bang theory postulates that all reality expanded from a single point in space.
But where did that single point come from? That single point was indeed reality, and the Big Bang theory doesn't account for that single point.

The Big Bang, according to what I remember, implies that energy resulted in the force outward, energy enough to induce force to push all of the Universe out from the central mass whose mass M is equal to ?meverything
(since mass is not created nor destroyed). Therefore, the energy output was such that it could cause masses to break the force F=GM, where G is the gravitational constant ~6.67x10^(-11). This force is inordinate. However, how much energy is made doesn't matter. Energy is not made -- it just flows from one source to another. This requires that the Big Bang must have happened at the beginning of time... Right? Did it? Where did the matter come from? The science is inconsistent, however religion is just as inconsistent... where is the direct proof of God outside the book? Problem is, there's neither proof for God nor disproof. ...Who knows, maybe the whole systems of how the universe operates is "God"?