Theistic arguments are false

with opposing topic of

Not all theisitc arguments are false.


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Kyle
Creator is trying to prove:
Theistic arguments are false
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Contender
cunninghamjohn2002
Contender is trying to prove:
Not all theisitc arguments are false.
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Category : Religion Tags : Religion,Atheism,Argument
Civil or Profane : Profane Casual or Ranked Casual
Style Open Voting Period 14 Days
Characters per round : 8000 Time to respond : 7 Days
Judging score Required : 0 Debate Id #37
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Debate starts!

Acceptance Round
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Argument Round
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To begin, the Cosmological Argument

1. Everything that exists must have a cause.

2. The Universe must have a cause (1).

3. Nothing can be the cause of itself.

4. The universe cannot be the cause of itself (3).

5. Something outside the universe must have caused it.

6. God is the only thing outside the universe (2 and 4).

7. God created the universe (5and 6). 

8. God exists.

Flaw 1: Who caused God? If God caused himself/was always around, then not everything needs a cause. If a third party made God, then what made the third party? If these things don't need an explanation, why does the universe? Why not say the universe was always there, or way not say the universe was self-caused?

Flaw 2: "Cause" doesn't have a clear definition, but our best definition is about a relationship between events connected by physical laws. To apply this concept to the universe is to misuse the concept, extending it into a realm in which we are clueless to properly use it. This is a line based on skeptical reasoning, based on incoherent demands we make of the concept of cause.

This is merely one argument out of 36. The link below provides more counterpoints to common theistic arguments.

This is a link that disproves most theistic arguments

There are a few principal problems with your opening argument.

Firstly, I never established or agreed to those eight tenants. You simply introduced them yourself and then proceeded to show why they were incomplete, yourself. This is certainly a unique attempt to discredit the opposing argument but the problem is you can't choose the opposing side's argument for them. That would be like me saying you believe 2 + 2 = 5, but in fact 2 + 2 = 4. You cannot prescribe an argument, and an incomplete one at that, to your opposition.

Second, as I have already mentioned, that argument your proposed is incredibly incomplete and your interpretation of it displays a significant lack of understanding of the concept of God. If God had a cause he would not be God, rather the result of an action. One of the ten intangible tenants of God is that he is eternal, meaning He has always existed. He is, if you will, the 'unmoved mover'. Meaning all matter possessing things must be 'moved', and if you trace this lineage back to the very first 'moved' thing then you must arrive at an 'unmoved mover', a someone who is outside of 'moving' itself. This all applies to the 'Flaw 1' of the argument you proposed yourself.

Therefore, God didn't cause himself, rather he is 'cause-less'. This assertion should be indisputable. Second, to say that: 'if God has no cause, then why can't the universe' is to suggest that the universe in some way transcends physicality. Certainly, we can agree that matter, and therefore the universe is not eternal. 

You also suggest the idea that God was made by a third-party. God is uncreated, he is not made, he is. If he were made he would be just like the universe. And again, to say the universe was 'self-caused', as you put it, would be to say that matter is eternal. 

Next, I'm having trouble even understanding your 'Flaw 2'. 'Cause' is not a concept, it is a word used as a metaphor to describe the concept of existence. For example, your cause is your parents, your parents' cause is your grandparents. With that, we must arrive that there is something, or rather someone, that is 'causeless' and does not need a cause to exist because the tenants of our humanity and matter-based world cannot be applied to it because it surpasses said tenants infinitely. Thus, applying this concept to the universe certainly is not a misusage of the concept.

Also, you didn't even make a case for the topic of the debate -- rather you seemingly attempted to disprove the existence of God, or at least suggest that flaw exists in the reasoning for his existence. I assume your intent was that if the argument for God possesses flaw, then all argument surrounding God is flawed as well. The problem with that is you did not prove that flaw exists in the reason for the existence of God. Nor will you be able to, that is the whole point. Religion, while able to be supported by reason, is a concept based on belief. Therefore the assertion you've given yourself, 'All theistic arguments are false', really doesn't even make any sense. False in what sense, in the sense that since God is false they are false as a result? If that were the case it still would not be correct. If you could, which you can't, reasonably show the existence of God to be false then we would only have belief to go off of, and you cannot discredit or argue upon belief. Therefore, while a theistic argument won't hold true to an atheist, it may very well to the billions of people who believe in God.

In conclusion, your opening argument possesses a lot of flaws and I'm curious as to what direction or conclusion you intended to arrive at with this topic. Forgive me if I came off as rude or anything during this, I realize that it can be easy to misunderstand intention when it's online rather than face to face. With that said, I appreciate your participation in this debate and look forward to your rebuttal. Good luck! 

 

 

Rebuttal Round 1
  
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How does god just exist? Why can't the universe transcendphysicality? How do you describe the Cosmological argument then?
God is infinite in every category more perfectly than any person on Earth can ever hope to understand, that is the beautiful mystery of God. You can never perfectly understand his existence because unlike His, our intellect is limited. However, there is both a short answer and long answer to your first question. The short answer is that God has always existence, as I noted he is eternal. The longer answer would require more research on your part and my part but the only way I could explain would be through the Christian belief of God and the Trinity. 

To your second question, the universe in a way, does transcend physicality in the sense that is seemingly infinite. Again, though, this comes back to God. The "infinite-ness", if you will, of the universe is meant to convey the vastness and beauty of God. So, in that sense, the universe does transcend physicality because it is, in a sense, infinite(in the possibility that it is and will expand infinitely). However, this transcendence of physicality is a result of its creators merit, not its own, because every cause is greater than its effect.

To your third question, if you carefully read my first response(which I assume you didn't because you didn't respond to any of my points or inquiries) you would have seen that I did define my own Cosmological argument. I described it as the concept of the unmoved mover, or the first cause, which does not have-or need- a cause itself, and is the cause of everything else in existence.
Rebuttal Round 2
  
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Your first rebuttal for #1 Still doesn't give any proof to God being eternal; "He just is" isn't an argument. Your second rebuttal has some issues; why isn't the universe's surpassing of physicality enough to let it live on? Why is a cause greater than an effect?
To address your first concern, as I mentioned it is difficult to apply reason to a being who surpasses the human intellect. To put it simply if God were not eternal than He would not be God -- being eternal is an intangible part of being God because God is, by definition, without any limit. Thus, if he were not eternal he would be limited in that sense.

To address your second concern, I think, once again, you have misunderstood my point. My point was that the way in which the universe transcends physicality is in the sense that is created by God and is(possibly) expanding infinitely. The universe cannot create itself because it is made of matter, matter must always have a cause -- this brings us back to the unmoved mover or first cause argument.

As to your third and final inquiry, anything you are capable of making, in the physical sense, you are in that sense greater than. God was able to make the universe, without God the universe wouldn't exist, the universe didn't make God, the universe couldn't make God, therefore the cause is greater than its effect and God is, in this way, greater than the universe. The same is true for making a sand castle, that sand castle didn't and couldn't have made you, therefore, in that regard, you are greater than the sand castle. Perhaps the only time this argument wouldn't literally ring true would be conception. Although, I think you can argue that two parents don't create their children rather they supply the necessities for that creation.

I would truly appreciate it if you could respond at more length to my points as well since I am granting you that courtesy. Regardless, thank you and I await your next rebuttal.
Rebuttal Round 3
  
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Things can't defy logic and exist. The world follows logic the same way people follow the law of science. Why does the place that the universe expands into have to be metaphysical?
I'm not sure what your first comment is in reference to, are you saying the tenant of God being eternal defies logic? Please clarify.

To your second comment, I'm not convinced that the world always follows logic I think there is an argument to be made against that but that is another debate. But what you are referencing that to is what you are referring to in your first point, which I will need clarification on to properly defend.

To your third and final comment, I'm not sure that I ever claimed the universe expands into the metaphysical, rather I claimed that the majority argument is that it is expanding infinitely. My point on this, if it is to be true, is that this reflects the omnipotence of God, not the universe's own power -- matter can't have always existed and expand itself, I refuse to believe such a claim.
Rebuttal Round 4
  
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Things cannot defy logic and exist, that's my point. The world always obeys the laws of logic: Fallacies aren't real, Logic shows the truth.
It seems to me here than you are implying that God is a fallacy. I think you have a deep-seeded misunderstanding of the concept of God. God is a mystery above all else, we can understand things about Him but we can never fully understand Him in the way He understands Himself(perfectly). God is not limited by "logic" or the "world" as you would say rather he created them and is outside them. Something you create cannot limit you, thus God is outside and independent from his creation, and he is also infinite. This literally means that God is without limit. So to say that God has to follow the same set logic that we follow would be wrong.

However, I think your grievance was more with my statement in Rebuttal Round 2 when I said "it is difficult to apply reason to a being who surpasses the Human Intellect". My point here wasn't that the concept of god is unreasonable, if it was unreasonable than billions of people wouldn't believe in some form of a god. My intent was to say that it's hard for us to prove these things to ourselves because we are, by our intellect, limited in our reasoning in a way that God is not; that being said, I and many others, have proven to themselves the reasonable existence of God. So to clarify, you can certainly still come upon the existence of God with reason.

Also, I'm not sure that logic always shows the truth, if this were true I feel like there would be significantly less disagreement in the world. I realize we are at an unfortunate time now where a significant portion of people lack the ability to critically think for themselves but nevertheless I'm not sure if logic always shows the truth. If you take that claim literally it certainly isn't true but perhaps in the deeper sense it holds some truth.
Closing and Summary Round
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The definition of God you give is inarguable. Just because many people believe in something doesn't make it reasonable. Logic may show truth but people don't always see it.
I never gave a definition of God, my point was that you are trying to apply things by which we figure stuff out to a higher sentient being who we could never hope to fully understand. That being said I am sure there is some definition of God that is the combined work of thousands of years of theology and hundreds of scholars that defines God to the best of our ability, but to call my argument is inarguable honestly doesn't make any sense to me. Over the course of the debate, I have continued to respond and refute your claims while you have not done the same. 

Again, you completely missed my point and I'm starting to doubt whether or not you're even reading my rebuttals. My point wasn't that if a bunch people believe in something it's automatically reasonable. My point was that if such a high majority believes in something it certainly provides some merit to that thing, however, I also stated that I, personally, and many others have proven to themselves the reasonable existence of God.

I have no grievance with your third point because I never said that people don't always see logic, I would agree with that.

I think for my conclusion I want to bring things back to what the thesis truly was. Your thesis was that all theistic arguments are false yet you essentially instead attempted to disprove the reasonable existence of God. The problem is you never supplied any claims or logic of your own, you just replied to mine. This whole debate was really me just defending God to you, so I personally have been in no way convinced that all theistic arguments are false because of those things.
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