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Debate Info

78
128
Yes No
Debate Score:206
Arguments:67
Total Votes:291
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes (23)
 
 No (44)

Debate Creator

MementoMori(26) pic



Is there a conflict in believing in both evolution and a personal god?


Yes

Side Score: 78
VS.

No

Side Score: 128
5 points

In the case of Christianity, there is a conflict. Christians think that the Bible is infallible and inerrant. And the Bible claims that God created everything. So either the Bible is correct and evolution did not occur, or evolution occurred and the Bible is no longer valid. Either way, there is a conflict.

Side: Yes
narnia(3) Disputed
3 points

This is not true. While Christians believe the Bible is infallible, not all Christians believe all text in the Bible is meant to be taken literally. Evolutionary theory was not around in St. Augustine's time, and yet St. Augustine felt no threat from science discovery natural forces in the world that would unveil God's mechanisms. Since God is outside of space and time, there is no reason why God could not have set the universe in motion and yet planned the outcome simultaneously.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
5 points

The problem with that is although god may have controlled the universe in such a way as to ensure humans be the innevitable outcome of the process of evolution. We would still be given the impression that we were not an intended outcome after studying the mechanisms involved in evolution. This would seem a somewhat molevalant thing for a god to do, to hide their actions.

Side: Yes
passionate1(85) Disputed
2 points

A. The only place in the bible that could be taken to contradict evolution is in Genesis 1. Most people, Christians included, see the Genesis creation story through a Western mindset, as a technical scientific account of creation. However, it is instead a story, written as a narrative, a song. There is no one verse in the bible that says that evolution is not how God created life.

B. Most Christians do believe that the Bible is infallible and inerrant, but in no way do we assume that we interpret everything correctly. The vast amount of doctrinal and theological differences between different denominations is testament to that. Some churches baptize by sprinkling water on you, others dunk you under. Some believe miracles are a thing of the past, others disagree. Some believe that the universe was created in 6 days 6000~ years ago, others believe that God set off the big bang 13.73~ billion years ago. The Bible was never written as a scientific document and in no way is comparable to Newton's "Special Theory of Relativity." When people say that either the Bible is right or science is, they are comparing apples to oranges.

Side: No
5 points

If you truly understand evolution by natural selection then you cannot truly believe in a personal god, it's simply unnecessary.

Side: Yes
shunted(137) Disputed
0 points

It is entirely possible that the universe was created in such a way that life was an emergent property. It might not be reasonable to believe the universe was created but it is reasonable to think that if it was created then it was created so that life was an emergent property.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
3 points

That's missing the point of the original argument. Evolution is a process that has no specific outcome whereby humans were an intended outcome. The problem therefore is how can you believe in a personal god that has the specific intention of humans coming into existence i.e. like the god mentioned in judaism/christianity/Islam.

Side: Yes
3 points

Of course there is a conflict. One of the founding beliefs in religion is that a personal God is concerned with the lives of humans. Evolution on the other hand implies that we are in no way special, and that we naturally evolved over a period of millions/billions of years.

Trying to fit the idea of a personal God into a world where the theory is evolution is a widely accepted fact is pretty desperate attempt to validify the idea of God.

Side: Yes
redragon104(13) Disputed
0 points

Your making two big assumption in your argument. You are assuming that the only way to a personal god is through your preconceived notion of what religion is. You make the argument that the "founding beliefs in religion is..." While this may be true in your religion, or a great many religions, it is not true for all religions.

Your second assumption is that the only way to a personal god is through a religion. However, it is possible it find a personal god through ones own beliefs, whether or not others around them believe it.

Since one can find a personal god anyway they choose, and any religion can exist, it is obvious that the belief in a personal god, and the belief in evolution do not conflict with each other.

Side: Yes
xaeon(1090) Disputed
3 points

Actually, after having some time to re-read this and think about it, I believe I was originally right in saying that a personal god and evolution can not coexist. The reason for this is that their ethos is completely different.

A personal god, in its simplest form, requires there to be a god who is concerned with the lives of humans. Even that simple statement conflicts with evolution, which teaches us that we are not special, predestined, etc. We're simply part of the evolutionary tree at this point in time. If we're simply a small part of the evolutionary tree, why would there be a personal god who is concerned with our lives? Is he concerned with the lives of cats, birds, bumble bees, etc?

Saying that we're special enough to have god's concern/love/etc, as if we are the things that were meant to be here, does go against evolution.

Side: Yes
2 points

Infact, I am in total agreement with you.

My argument made an assumption of a personal God based on the foundations of a typical Abrahamic religion. If we talk about the major Abrahamic religions, than I think yes; they conflict. If we talk about a non-religious (or at least, the organised religions) then yes, then don't specifically have to conflict.

Side: No
2 points

i think yes

Side: Yes
2 points

Christianity that is definatly a problem.

I have heard of evolutionists being Christian, but if you believe in evolution you are not a true Christian. It is hard to believe that the amazing human body slowly formed from a one cell organism.

Side: yes
1 point

Most major religions assert the idea that their god is specifically interested in humans however, the arrival of human life was no more likely to have arisen than the vast numbers of other possible organisms that could have adapted to this planet.

Side: Yes
Diluck(51) Disputed
0 points

Yes, but the fact that humans are the ones that did arise though could give you faith that god had a specific plan or goal in mind for humans or that he thought they were the best species to evolve so high. If god was the mastermind behind evolution; and natural selection is how species evolve then the creature best suited to his planet would have arisen. The creature god created the planet for. Not that I believe in a personal god.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
1 point

"creature best suited to his planet would have arisen" ?

We are hardly the best suited, there are many other species of organism capable of existing in a greater number of changing environments than us. It's hubris that often creates the illusion that humans are somehow better.

If a god did have the intention of creating humans, why use a process whereby their very existence did not appear innevitable then? It certainly wasn't when evolution is dependent on so many changing variables that could influence the direction it takes.

Side: Yes
redragon104(13) Disputed
0 points

What most major religions assert has nothing to do with this question. Maybe had you phrased the question "Is there a conflict within most major religions in believing in both evolution and a personal god?" than this argument could have worked. But alas, you did not. And since what one believes in as personal god has nothing to do with what most major religions assert, your argument is false.

Side: Yes
MementoMori(26) Disputed
3 points

"your argument is false," not at all... in stating my argument I specifically speak of a personal god in terms of the abrahamic religions. I felt it necessary to leave the question open however because it's important to recognise that other personal gods with different qualities are not in conflict with a belief in evolution.

Side: Yes
6 points

No, there is no conflict. If you insert a canon then there is a conflict, but, for example, a maltheist approach would suffice to make the belief highly functional in logic.

Side: No
5 points

Wow, stupid question. This is obviously false.

Believing in a personal god does not require belief in anything else. It only requires the belief in a personal god.

Therefore, it does not require the belief that evolution is not true.

Side: No
4 points

Agreed. Not that the question is stupid, but that the personal belief in a god does not mean that you cannot believe in something else.

Side: Yes
4 points

Agreed with that statement. We have to learn about evolution in school, but that doesn't mean we have to believe that over our own personal beliefs.

But it is possible to believe in both.

Side: No
2 points

There's a concept among many atheists and believers of evolution that Christians are narrow-minded, unwilling to change. While this is often true about very vocal conservative Christians, it is not the norm. There are close to a billion Christians, and the vocal minority we see on news reports saying "God Hates Fags" often spoil the image of the silent majority. Christianity aside, there are many followers of a personal God who also make a living from science -- the man who led the team that worked on the Human Genome Project, for example, believes in the Christian God, and he is one of the most prominent scientists involved with the study of evolution.

Supporting Evidence: I've found God, says man who cracked the Genome - Times Online (www.timesonline.co.uk)
Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
2 points

The question isn't whether scientists claim to believe in both, I'm very sure cognitive dissonance could allow you to believe in a number of conflicting ideas.

The original point was that the process of evolution has no specific outcome that would lead to humans. Therefore how can a person accept this, and yet believe in a deity who had the specific intention of bringing humans into existence, for example the god mentioned in Islam, Judaism and Christianity

Side: Yes
MementoMori(26) Disputed
0 points

I think you completely misunderstood the point of the argument being made. Be it that evolution has no set path that would intentionally lead to humans, it makes little sense to believe in a personal god that has the specific intention of bringing about humans.

I then said that a person could respond saying that god would be entirely aware of the paths evolution would progress and know for sure that humans would arise. However the problem is that the actual process would still appear to have no intention to humans.

Side: Yes
redragon104(13) Disputed
1 point

MementoMori, I am not seeing your problem.

What if I believe in a god that is around only because of the collective power of humans, and has nothing to do with the creation of humans. This is just an example of a possible god that does not contradict with believing in evolution.

But lets say that we only want to believe in gods that created humans. Just because you don't see how the process has an intention towards humans doesn't mean that a hypothetical super god won't. Maybe humans will be the end result of any evolutionary process, or at least in an evolutionary system defined by a god.

Side: No
3 points

Imagine alien beings landed on the earth and came across a game board for Monopoly in mid-play. They would observe the pieces and note that they fall into a non-random pattern. Now suppose they wanted to discover the "rules" that describe how the pieces landed in those positions. They could either say that a) some intelligent force just put them in those positions, b) that they randomly fell into those positions.

Current debate over creationism, intelligent design, and evolution seems to take either of those two sides. However, there is a third argument - BioLogos. This argument claims that there is some intelligent force that created the rules to the game, and then some active forces that played the game according to the rules.

In the case of evolution, one way to reconcile science and faith is that God created the rules to the game and natural forces acted them out. Thus, evolution and God may coexist.

Side: No
2 points

Depends on what you mean by "a personal god". If you believe god created life as we know it, and if you believe evidence to the contrary (i.e. dinosaur bones) was fabricated to mislead us, then yes, evolution conflicts with belief in god. Otherwise there is no conflict.

You might instead choose to believe god created the world employing the process of evolution. No conflict here.

You might believe that science and religion are different ways to explain life in all its complexity. Science explains the "how" of creation; religion explains the "why". No conflict here, either.

People believe a lot of things that are inconsistent. You are free to believe in a "personal god" and evolution even if in your mind the two ideas are mutually exclusive. This doesn't mean you are conflicted. What, me worry?

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
3 points

By personal god I was referring to a deity that has a specific interest in humans, as mentioned in the Abrahamic religions. The problem with believing in both is that our understanding of evolution indicates human life was not an "innevitable" outcome of the process, this however conflicts the idea that a personal god has specific intentions to bring about human life.

Side: No
1 point

An all powerful being could have controlled the development of the universe and been completely aware of the paths evolutionary development would have taken. Therefore known that human life would certainly arise.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
4 points

Why would a benevolant being give the illusion of uncertainly by allowing life to develop through evolutionary processes. This would give the perception that there was no specific intention for humans to exist.

Side: Yes
Diluck(51) Disputed
1 point

How much more grand does the world/universe have to be to make it amazing? Nature is a complex thing that humans still do not completely understand. Evolution might answer why we are here; but that in no way rules out that a personal god might have been involved in designing the system. With evolution chances are highly unlikely any species is going to make it to the top of the food chain, the few that do are very fortunate. Humans were the lucky winners in evolution, that should be enough reason to believe a god is looking out for you.

Side: No
2 points

I agree, there is evidence of evolution (and extinction) here on earth; it would be hard to deny that. Believing in evolution and a God is not in conflict, even if you believe that God created human life here on earth.

Side: No

There is no intrinsic conflict. God was used for a long time to provide an answer to how life came about, but creation is not needed for a god to still exist. The Catholic Church proves this.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
3 points

you do not consider it a conflict to believe that a god has the specific intention of human life coming to be. Yet also believing it arose through evolution where human life was not an innevitable outcome?

Side: No

Many religions do not have gods that are omnipotent or who are responsible for the creation of the universe (or, at least not solely responsible). Well, in fact, there are many religions which have no gods at all.

My own religion places the creation of the Universe and all things as parts of fundamental elementary forces of nature which can be helped along by intelligent guardians are beings in tune with those forces, gods. Evolution is one of many natural forces which guide our world and our Universe, the gods are representative of those forces.

Ostensibly, to me there is a god OF evolution, or a god whose jurisdiction evolution falls under. Either that, or evolution is an expression of the conflict between two other gods or forces. I havn't had it down to which though.

There is no "plan", though. All of these forces are in conflict with one another and no god or force has complete control over the way things go.

What's funny is that most of the non monotheistic religions have absolutely no problem with science or its discoveries. Their beliefs are much more flexible and....logical (as far as religions go). Certainly more open to new ideas from other philosophies, religions, and the scientific community.

Side: No
1 point

There is no doubt in my mind that evolution could have been a tool God used in the establishment of live. I believe that Christians have so strongly opposed it because ever since its conception, it has been used as a way of justifying atheism. People began to take on the attitude of "now science can replace god." The same is true for many other areas of science, such as plate tectonics and the big bang, but even the big bang was first proposed by a catholic priest, and is a marvelous theory for how God may have initiated the universe, molding and directing every detail all in preparation for his children.

Supporting Evidence: catholic priest (en.wikipedia.org)
Side: No
1 point

No, because (depending on your religion, I'm familiar with Christianity so I'm basing it off of that) the Bible never says how God created the world and the life in it, it just says he did.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
3 points

In christianity it's taught that god had the specific intention of creating human life. However from what we understand of evolution, human life was in no way an innevitable outcome of the process. This is where the conflict is.

Side: No
1 point

If there is a God why wouldn't he use the Occum's Razor approach and create life the simplest way possible using natural selection. Now if the question was is there a conflict between believing the bible and evolution yes there is but I would like to think that if there is a God he would do things the simple way, instead of trying to design 40 million creates that could co-exists together from scratch.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
3 points

Because natural selection is not the simplest approach, it would be far simpler for an all powerful being to simply "will" life, specifically human life, into existence. Natural selection is a long winded process with no specific end result, therefore human life could not be guaranteed nor does it seem an innevitable thing. This is a problem for Abrahamic religions which assert their god has a specific interest in human life.

Side: No
1 point

I would say no for the most part. I haven't studied on all religions, so I can't speak for them all. But it seems that there's no reason you can't believe that [a] god created the early world, and set the process of evolution going, or even guided it the whole way. The two aren't really incompatible, as long as the written text of the religion isn't taken word-for-word.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
3 points

Evolution is a process where there is no end result, no specific organism that would definitely arise. The mechanisms involved simply mean that organisms capable of adapting and surviving would proliferate. This does not have the innevitable outcome of human life. So there is an issue with believing in the Abrahamic god, where it is taught this being had the specific intention of creating human life. Why would they use a method where human life were not guaranteed?

Side: No
1 point

I consider myself to be a Christian. I'm not a hardcore Christian by any means, but I do believe in God. I also believe science has taught us a lot about the world and that the evidence it gives us on a lot of things, like natural selection/evolution and gravity, are true. I don't get why people think that just because you are a certain religion means you can only believe what it says, and nothing said by any other religion or by science.

Side: No
1 point

Only if the Personal God doesn't abide by the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Supporting Evidence: Evolution as Described by the Second Law of Thermodynamics (www.physorg.com)
Side: second law of thermodynamics
1 point

No, i belive in both (that the big bang happened and God was formed by the big bang and created the first cells and microbes on earth and gave them the abilty to adapt and manain themselfs) Also, the bible was writen by man, we know what man has to say about god, but no what he himself has to say.

Side: No
1 point

In principle, no evolution can be viewed as how rather than why.

Side: No
1 point

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Side: No
0 points

No. Though not religious, I do believe in a God. It is actually the very reality of evolution, knowledge of science and the complexity of our universe and everything in it that convinces me that there is some sort of higher power. At this point in time, it makes more sense that a higher power exists than the idea that a galaxy that possesses such scientific complexity is due to a series of haphazard coincidences.

Side: No
0 points

I don't see any conflict between believing in some sort of God and not being a blind fanatic, that doesn't seem to see obvious facts.

Well ye the development of science showed us that the Earth is not flat.

And it is not the center of universe.

And the sky is not a crystal sphere.

And there is no hell under our feet.

Well we're now smart enough not to take everything that is written in the Bible literally.

Imagine that you have to carry the idea of God to some tribe that never heard of Earth being a sphere, about space and so on. You must talk on the language that they'd understand.

The same thing here.

And yep we now know that human being was not created from clay. We evolutioned from some bacteria.

And the universe was created during that big bang stuff.

But why did the big bang happen? Where did the stuff that banged come from? How come the whole evolution system took place on this planet. Etc.

There is stiil lots of room for God out there. We've just learned a lot more about universe, and now we talk on different language.

That's all.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
3 points

There is a very specific conflict in believing in the Abrahamic god who is taught as having a specific intention in creating human life. Whilst also understanding evolution and why human life was not an innevitable outcome of the process. Therefore begging the question, if a god who had the specific interest in bringing about humans existed, why would they use a process whereby human life was not guaranteed?

Side: No

Absolutely not. Who the hell do we think we are? How presumptuous is it for us to impose on God how to go about His business? If He wanted to create man through a process called evolution, why not?

A lot of heated (deadly) arguments have started because one or the other (or both) combatant(s) thought he knew the exact nature of God and refused all other possible explanations. In the dark ages, people thought that the universe revolved around the earth. That the earth was at the center of the universe because we are so important. How presumptuous!

Some little Shiite thinks he knows the "true" nature of Allah and innocent people die. Some born again, love thy neighbor, Christian thinks that abortion is murder so they kill a doctor. Or they think that gays are wrong and so they target them. How about letting God deal with the infidels, the murderers and the fornicators. It's His job! Not ours. Who are we to judge. Cast the first stone.

Side: No
MementoMori(26) Disputed
2 points

You're being very defensive without actually defending against the main point being made. Our understanding of evolution leads us to conclude that humans were not an innevitable outcome of the process. So how could a person also believe in a god that had the specific intention of creating humans?

Side: Yes
1 point

No one has seen God since say, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Maybe it is God's plan to plant doubt in us in order to determine how strong our faith is. One way to plant doubt is to use evolution to create us but the whole time He's guiding the evolution.

Side: No
geoff(738) Disputed
-2 points
0 points

Not neccessarily. God works in mysterious ways, and 7 days may be 14 trillion years and evolution. Who knows...

Side: No