I have heard Christians say God is omniscient (that he knows everything) and that he has given us the gift of free will. It seems to me that these two ideas are contradictory, because if he knows everything he knows what we will do, and we therefore do not have free will - our future is set. Have I misunderstood something?On a similar note, does God also lack free will, or does his not being affected by time allow free will?
I've noticed that many of the recent debates on this site have been about certain individuals on this site. As a result, there are less debates of real substance, which has caused me to avoid engaging in very much debate here recently.If the arguments were all entirely anonymous, this problem might be resolved, and people would focus more on real debates than on personal attacks. It shouldn't matter who we debate, only what they are arguing.This could have problems too, as trolls would be harder to ignore, and some beneficial features may be lost.
This might be a slightly depressing topic, but I'm curious to hear your answers.I know everybody's first answer will be "joining createdebate," but lets skip past that one.Your answer could be something you regret having done, or something you regret not having done.
If you have the time it would be nice to see a definition of objective significance/importance, and an explanation as to whether or not it exists.I think significance is the same as importance. The word objective gets a bit tricky here, so different interpretations are likely and welcome. I'm curious as to how you answer the question.
A bit of a vague question yes, but I will try to explain.Inspiration for this debate came from Bronto's debate titled: *"Should a Muslim have to bake a cake for a gay wedding."* I think this raises a question about the value of freedom. Should freedom (e.g. freedom not to serve somebody) in some cases be sacrificed to create something else that many would deem to be good, such as forced fair treatment (forcing the Muslim to serve the gays)? Do we overate freedom? This could also apply to things like limitations on government surveillance upon the public. The specific dialogue during Bronto's debate that inspired me to create this debate was between Amarel and myself, which went like this:Me: "Nobody should have to provide a service unwillingly if freedom is to be considered valuable"Amarel: "Does that include denial of service based on race. ?"Me: "If you value freedom enough, yes. The value of freedom is the real debate though."Amarel: "Sounds like it might be. Why don't you post a debate. ?"
If there are objective moral standards, why be moral by behaving in accordance with those standards? Does the fact that those standards would be moral intrinsically mean that you should follow them, or does there need to be further reason?
This link seems to describe pretty much all that the British royal family do: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-does-the-royal-family-do-2017-1?r=US&IR=TIt seems to me that besides attracting tourists, they're pretty much nothing more than a tradition. They make 'appearances' at events, but that just sounds like a load of pointless B.S. to me if I'm honest. Do you think there's any reason to keep following this tradition in England (and other similar countries)?I suppose this question could lead into the question of; Does tradition hold any value in and of itself?
To elaborate on the title; Is it wrong to kill a spider or fly or something of that sort when you could easily take a little longer and set them free outside? When there's a spider bugging me, I just trap them then chuck them outside away from the house, without hurting them. I also always try to let flies out the window rather than swatting them. I just feel guilty about killing them. Strangely, I have no problem with devouring steaks, maybe because I don't see the cow getting slaughtered.Feel free to take this debate wherever you like.
Is true knowledge possible?Feel free to use whatever definition of knowledge you like, but I prefer the Justified True Belief one. I understand that an answer of no mightn't make sense, because you would have to know that knowledge is not possible, but...
Is a human life any more valuable than animal life, and why?
Is there any reason that a human life is more valuable than an animal's life? Is there any objective value to life at all, or is it only subjective? Is there a gradient of value to life, with humans being the highest value, and something like plants being the lowest? Is consciousness necessary for life to have value? I understand that there are many large questions here, and perhaps I should have made them into two debates, so don't feel pressed to try to answer all of them. I also realize that humans can be classified as animals, so when I say animal I mean non-human animal.
Religious people often speak about choosing to accept God into one's heart, but is this really a choice? Is whether or not someone believes dependent on things they can't help, like the way their brain is built, the environment they were brought up in,knowledge, or indoctrination, or is there an element of choice? This could also extend to a free will debate, if your mind is set to work a certain way, then you are set to respond to things a certain way, you have no say in the mind you are born with, so perhaps you have no free will, just an illusion.If the correct answer is no, belief is not a choice, then surely this has ramifications for certain things... If there is a God, surely he couldn't blame atheists for not believing in him?Edit: I didn't intend for this to be an argument about indoctrination, I meant for it to be about free will in the way that Galen Strawson theorizes. Your mind is set a certain way, so perhaps your beliefs (and actions) are too, only being affected by other circumstances you cannot control.
Read this link before answering the question, it says everything for me: http://www.thebookoflife.org/why-socrates-hated-democracy/Democracy can be defined as: government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. Democracy is generally accepted as a good thing, but perhaps there are some flaws with it. Is it good to let almost anyone vote, or should there be higher standards? This question is more about the type of democracy present in the US right now, so if you think there should be change, but democracy should still exist, you could answer in the "No, because..." section.And no, I'm not implying anything about the results of the most recent election in the US.
At my public high-school in New Zealand the science department has some posters up which support atheism. One such example is a poster which quotes Richard Dawkins saying *"How thoughtful of God to arrange matters so that, wherever you happen to be born, the local religion always turns out to be the true one."* There are other atheist and anti-theist posters up around our science department. My question is: Is this okay?I thought this would be interesting, as the usual conversation about this sort of thing is centered on public schools condoning religion, especially in the U.S. I definitely believe that to put up posters supporting a religion in a public school is wrong, and I'll post my argument concerning atheist posters (and similar things that condone atheism) below. NOTE: I am not looking for an argument as to whether or not it *is* legal, but as to whether or not it *should be* legal. Also, anybody who says that atheism is a religion, will be banned immediately. As per usual, keep things civil in this debate. I also don't want this debate to get into whether or not a god exists, let's try and remain neutral here.
Is it any more rational to believe in the multiverse hypothesis than it is to believe in a god?(If you answer: *"No it's not, because..."*, it could mean you think it is equally, or less rational to believe in a multiverse than to believe in a god)It seems to me that a lot of arguments for the existence of a god would be entirely useless if the multiverse hypothesis is correct. For example, the fine tuning idea (that our universe is so "perfect" for life that a god must have been involved in making it that way). I also haven't heard of many alternatives to the multiverse hypothesis that could explain things like the apparent fine-tuning of the universe, which means that the two (a god or a multiverse) could somewhat be substitutes. The problem with the multiverse hypothesis is just that - it is just a hypothesis, and an unfalsifiable one at that. This leads many to consider it unscientific, and on the same level as the god(s) hypothesis. Personally, I think it is only rational to withhold judgement on the multiverse hypothesis until evidence for its validity is provided. I'd like to hear what you all think.Keep it civil, etc, or I'll ban you.
Should we continue to do things like send out purposeful broadcasts into space with the aim of alerting intelligent aliens to our existence? Organisations like SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) constantly search for signs of intelligent aliens and send out messages into space.I could come at this from both sides...On one hand I don't think we should ignore our curiosity about aliens, it's in our blood. Some might also say that if we do find aliens, it could bring benefits to us if they are willing to share their knowledge with us.On the other hand, it's a risky business if the aliens decide we should be destroyed or enslaved or something. One could also argue it's a waste of time and money, and that there are more important issues.
Can someone give a logical reason why killing a newborn (e.g. less than a few months old baby) is wrong. (No dogmatic reasons like quoting the bible please) The whole abortion argument seems to come down to what makes murder wrong, and does this apply to unborn fetuses? I can only come up with reasons why murder is wrong that don't apply to either newborn babies, or fetuses that are still in the womb. I'm struggling to figure this one out. Please don't accuse me of wanting to kill babies, I don't. Also, please keep things civil (no name calling, etc), or I'll ban you.