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33
74
I agree I disagree
Debate Score:107
Arguments:65
Total Votes:151
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 I agree (28)
 
 I disagree (34)

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LichPotato(362) pic



Theism is Inherently Self-Contradictory

As a few may remember, my previous posts were often in defense of Theism, specifically Christianity. After these recent weeks, however, in which I've had copious time to question my beliefs from a rational perspective, I've come to the following conclusion: belief in an omniscient, moral God is inherently self-contradictory. Not only is there no evidence of an active Deity working in the Universe (indeed, the lack of the profound evidence one would expect from such an entity's presence does itself substantiate the nonexistence of said entity), but even from a theological perspective, which this discussion is focused on, it simply doesn't correlate to reality. My line of thought is as follows:

Theists (specifically Monotheists) usually assume both the morality, omniscience, and omnipotence of God. With these in mind, that such a being would be aware of the objectively "best" (here meaning morally correct for all involved) course of events that could take place, and how to cause this chain of happenings to manifest. As this being is also moral and omnipotent, it possesses both the will and the means to do so. With these starting assumptions (and the assumed existence of God itself) in mind, it follows that all the events of history have been the objectively "best" possible for all involved. Sounds great, except for the fact that this doesn't correspond to reality in the slightest; anyone with any knowledge of history whatsoever will know that the world has been, and still is, a place wrought with immorality and misfortune. I believe my reasoning based on the aforementioned assumptions to be without flaw (if you believe one to exist, I'd be quite pleased to hear about it; I'm attempting to deduce the truth with reason, not defend a faith or ideology), it follows that one or more of the assumptions (or the existence of God itself; but that's irrelevant to the theological issue presented here) is false. Best-case scenario, "God" either does not possess the will or the means to set in motion the "best" set of events. In the former case, this entity is apathetic at best and sadistic at worst, and in the latter, why call such a being "God"?

Sure as I am that the above has been more or less stated word for word by a prominent Atheist, this is my particular line of reasoning, which has been inspired by innumerable thought-provoking points of others, from both those that agreed with me and those who didn't. I'm thoroughly curious to hear your collective opinions on the matter; what better place to test a proof than a platform of persons well-versed in dissent?

I agree

Side Score: 33
VS.

I disagree

Side Score: 74
2 points

You have been attacked by the brontoraptor! There is NO rational defense! You MUST become a Christian (of a certain set of beliefs, of course), or be destroyed by the magic entity that guides HIM! Be afraid ... be VERY afraid! ;-)

Side: I agree
1 point

You're right; there's just no recovering from a mortal blow like this.

Side: I agree

The Bible predicted it all, right down to the dotting of I's and crossing of T's.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Beast-is-Strong-in-This-One-273041423117102/

Side: I disagree
LichPotato(362) Disputed
1 point

I must say, I find it quite amusing that all of my rebuttals to your statements in this debate magically received exactly five downvotes. That you're abusing this platform's features to decrease the apparent intellectual value of your opponent's position belies the invalidity of yours.

Side: I agree
2 points

You don't have any down votes. Quit acting like a self entitled victim. You've become weak and sloppy.

Side: I disagree

Theists (specifically Monotheists) usually assume both the morality, omniscience, and omnipotence of God

And?

Side: I disagree
Atrag(4943) Disputed
1 point

And is found in the following paragraphs you giant pillock.

Side: I agree

With these in mind, that such a being would be aware of the objectively "best" (here meaning morally correct for all involved) course of events that could take place, and how to cause this chain of happenings to manifest

1)Morally correct is a subjective terminology. It's meaningless because it is different to each individual.

2)God isn't bound to anything that you deem to be "the best". He'll most likely do what He deems is best according to whatever ends he desires. I wouldn't do what you "deem best", so why would God...

Side: I disagree
LichPotato(362) Disputed
1 point

"Morally correct is a subjective terminology. It's meaningless because it is different to each individual."

We're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient, supernatural entity here. Are you claiming God to be less than all-knowing?

"God isn't bound to anything that you deem to be "the best"."

Other than that all Monotheistic religions insist it to be a moral entity. If the results of its actions aren't moral, how can it be so?

You do realize you can present more than one argument in a single post, right? Or are you just spamming?

Side: I agree
Spartacus(18) Disputed Banned
2 points

We're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient, supernatural entity here. Are you claiming God to be less than all-knowing?

You are an idiot incapable of thinking anything through before you write it. How can God be both omnipotent and omniscient? If God knows the future then he is no longer omnipotent because it means he can't change his mind about what happens in the future. If he can change his mind about what happens in the future then he no longer knows the future.

If the results of its actions aren't moral, how can it be so?

Have you considered that it is because God decides on what is moral, not some random narcissistic idiot on the internet who is too stupid to debate people without lying and/or distorting the facts?

Are you aware that you are stupid? I ask this seriously. If you are aware and are just having a little bit of fun then that's fine. But if you actually think rambling pure gibberish at people is a sign if intellect then, with respect, I think you belong in a psychiatric institution.

Side: I disagree
2 points

We're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient, supernatural entity here. Are you claiming God to be less than all-knowing

I can tell you every phrase and scene in the movie Tombstone, yet I didn't write a line of it, make them say anything, or manipulate anything. Yet I know all and know everything concerning its events. Being all knowing doesn't mean you pick the scenario that is an "absolute zero". Absolute zero results may not be the result desired. If this reality is the only one available that yields the desired result, then this reality is the only option.

Side: I disagree

As this being is also moral and omnipotent

The word "moral" is never used in the Bible. What you, me, and God deem as "moral" are 3 different definitions. I can find you 10 more people and get you 10 more definitions.

In today's Western society, "tolerance" is some kind of moral virtue. In reality, "tolerance" can mean you are in bed with evil.

Side: I disagree

Sounds great, except for the fact that this doesn't correspond to reality in the slightest

Exactly. The Bible depicts a reality that is hard and doesn't end well for most. He opened his arms to all. Most didn't open their arms back. That's what makes those who do a prized possession to God Himself. The Bible depicts an army of the enemies of God who are simply allowed to exist at all to prove, try, and refine HIS children. The devil's children are the devil's concern and by their own choice.

Side: I disagree

and still is, a place wrought with immorality and misfortune

Satan is the God of this world and this age. God is actually an invader and so are His children into a godless world, and for one purpose, to prove His children's love for him, which is His eternal reward, and refine said children by the blood of Jesus Christ...

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

http://biblehub.com/2corinthians/4-4.htm

Side: I disagree

Best-case scenario, "God" either does not possess the will or the means to set in motion the "best" set of events

Best set of events to who? You? And best set of events for which outcome? If the outcome desired is to teach you what a swift kick in the groin feels like, the best set of events is for you to get? Kicked in the groin... Maybe I think THIS is the best set of events. Put your children into the darkness to teach them just how beautiful the light is. Give the devil's children their chance. If they reject you, and you are fair, you don't force yourself upon them. You let them go down their own dark path. To me that is fair. To you it may not be. In the end, only God's opinion will matter at all. There is nothing more beautiful than someone clinging to the one they love when crap hits the fan. Utopia has a plethera of things that it alone can never reveal without darkness, choice, and pain.

"For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him."

http://biblehub.com/colossians/1-16.htm

Side: I disagree
Cartman(18070) Disputed
1 point

Your bible quote directly contradicts the idea of "devil's children".

Side: I agree
3 points

1)That makes no sense.

2)The words "children of the devil" are used multiple times in the Bible.

Side: I disagree

In the former case, this entity is apathetic at best and sadistic at worst, and in the latter, why call such a being "God"?

Some people call porn their god. Some people drugs. Others alcohol. To others it's a sports figure, etc etc. Calling something "God" in this case, means loving the creator more than anything else freely. That cannot be emulated in Utopia. It can only be emulated in a reality that looks a lot like this one.

Apathy and Sadistic are more semantical words. What's sadistic to you isn't to me. Some people think disciplining your kids is sadistic. If the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is correct, apathy is an extremely poor word choice, wouldn't you say?

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."

http://biblehub.com/isaiah/53-5.htm

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

http://biblehub.com/isaiah/53-6.htm

Side: I disagree

With these starting assumptions (and the assumed existence of God itself) in mind, it follows that all the events of history have been the objectively "best" possible for all involved.

This logic is mindless and absurd. These "events" are not what is "best" for all involved. It is not the best possible scenario for Satan, his children, and his demons. They are what is best as is aligned with the will of God and what is it is that HE wished to obtain, and what HE alone wishes to obtain.

Side: I disagree
LichPotato(362) Disputed
1 point

Do I even need to explain how this post serves no purpose but to substantiate my point?

Side: I agree
2 points

Yes please. You stated God must choose the result that is best for ALL. No He doesn't. He's not bound to any said result simply because He knows all and can do all. He can do what He wants. You aren't omnipotent, if you have no choice. Being omnipotent means you have complete power and authority and that no one can oppose it.

Your argument is the equivalent of saying that I can't possibly be a painter because my painting isn't up to your code of what a painting "should" be like per some tortured definition of "should".

Side: I disagree
1 point

Nope. You just got sucked into the enemy's trap. He wants you to hear his voice, and it looks like you did, at least for now.

http://biblehub.com/matthew/7-27.htm

Side: I disagree
LichPotato(362) Disputed
1 point

Do you have any substantiation for your claim, or do I just "need more faith"?

Side: I agree
1 point

Nope. You simply need to make logical assessments and claims that make sense.

"An omnipotent god must choose a 'moral path' according to me" is as bad of an argument as is possible, so much so that I wonder if you purposefully planned out its fallacies.

Side: I disagree
1 point

Your position is flawed in that your criteria for what is best may not be relevant from an objective, omniscient standpoint.

It is also somewhat problematic to assume there is a code of conduct (morality) for the being who is the standard for all codes of conduct. If God has morality, then God is beholden to concepts that are derived from some other standard. God is arguably supra-moral, in which case your position doesn't hold.

Side: I disagree
LichPotato(362) Disputed
1 point

"Your position is flawed in that your criteria for what is best may not be relevant from an objective, omniscient standpoint."

This statement is only valid if one simultaneously claims the entirety of historical reality to be capable of being considered the "best" possible course of events to take place, a position I doubt you, or anyone, holds.

"It is also somewhat problematic to assume there is a code of conduct (morality) for the being who is the standard for all codes of conduct. If God has morality, then God is beholden to concepts that are derived from some other standard."

The morality in question (as I implied in my original post; perhaps I should have explicitly stated it) is, in regards to this debate, derived from the "holy books" held as either the explicit or inspired word of God. My overarching claim being that a Theistic God is a self-contradictory concept, it's only natural that the moral standards in question are claimed to be derived from God.

"God is arguably supra-moral, in which case your position doesn't hold."

For the sake of clarification, as the term is somewhat vague, will you please clarify the definition of "supra-moral"? Further, can you present evidence from the aforementioned "holy books" that this term, rather than it's conventional counterpart, applies to the Theistic concept of God?

Side: I agree
2 points

This statement is only valid if one simultaneously claims the entirety of historical reality to be capable of being considered the "best" possible course of events to take place, a position I doubt you, or anyone, holds

Pretend I'm God. I want to see if you love me and are loyal to me if the world falls apart. Now tell me what the "best possible set of events" would be to get me the desired outcome.

Side: I disagree
Amarel(1696) Disputed
-2 points
1 point

"in mind, it follows that all the events of history have been the objectively "best" possible for all involved. Sounds great, except for the fact that this doesn't correspond to reality in the slightest; anyone with any knowledge of history whatsoever will know that the world has been, and still is, a place wrought with immorality and misfortune."

First of all, I have no idea how any human with such a small amount of information and such limited ability to process said information is making such a claim. (Please note I'd describe myself as such too) How would you know what the "best" reality would look like? It's like how a child only wants to eat sweets and ice cream for every meal: they don't know what's best for them and neither do we.

Evil, immorality and misfortune are all necessary phenomena. Since what makes these phenomena negative in valence is suffering I shall address suffering directly. Without suffering pleasure would have no significance. In other words if one only ever had positive experiences then positive experience would cease to have meaning and life would be boring. The contrast between the negative experiences and the positive ones is what makes life a thrilling roller-coaster ride. Think about movies and TV-shows. There is always some conflict, some problem to overcome, even in happy comedies. If there was no problem and no conflict it wouldn't be entertaining. The same is true for life. In addition, one can give their life meaning by alleviating their own suffering and the suffering of others and replacing it with positive experience.

Finally, one must realize that if life has free-will then things can never be perfect. There would always be deviations from perfection because humans can act freely to sabotage perfection. This is particularly true since humans aren't aware of what perfection even is in this context. Therefore even when we strive for perfection failures are inevitable.

It is my estimation then that this reasoning does not hold up on any level. Your worldview is clearly changing to assimilate new information and this is great: everybody needs to evolve in this manner or they stagnate. However I think when you realized your worldview was incomplete you latched onto another incorrect worldview simply because it incorporated the dissonant piece of information: the existence of suffering.

Side: I disagree
LichPotato(362) Disputed
0 points

"First of all, I have no idea how any human with such a small amount of information and such limited ability to process said information is making such a claim. (Please note I'd describe myself as such too) How would you know what the "best" reality would look like? It's like how a child only wants to eat sweets and ice cream for every meal: they don't know what's best for them and neither do we."

I don't possess this information, and I didn't claim to. I can, however, logically extrapolate from given information; the "best" possible course of events, being set up by an omnipotent, omniscient Deity must be universally perfect, and therefore homogeneous in terms of morality and fortune of outcome. As history does not follow along these lines, it follows that these assumptions are inaccurate.

"Evil, immorality and misfortune are all necessary phenomena."

We're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient entity here. If suffering is an immutably necessary prerequisite to our existence, it follows that God is not, in fact, omnipotent. If it was, it would, by definition be capable of creating reality in a manner that did not require suffering, in which case its existence is deliberate, thus tying into my original point.

"Finally, one must realize that if life has free-will then things can never be perfect."

This follows along the lines of the prior argument. Further, "free will" does not abdicate God of responsibility for the effects of its actions; our actions are dictated by our genetic predispositions, coupled with environmental circumstances, both of which God orchestrated with full knowledge of their implications. Denying this is intellectually analogous to abdicating a murderer of responsibility for their actions because the firearm they used to commit the act didn't refuse to fire, despite having ample opportunity to do so. Sure, it could, but that course of action would be contrary to its inherent nature (in this case, being an inanimate object, rather than thought based on the aforementioned parameters). It's simply asinine.

"However I think when you realized your worldview was incomplete you latched onto another incorrect worldview simply because it incorporated the dissonant piece of information: the existence of suffering."

Atheism (when using the term accurately, as is so often not the case nowadays) is, by definition, a lack of a worldview. To what are you referring, then?

Side: I agree
TheSnake(7) Disputed Banned
1 point

the "best" possible course of events, being set up by an omnipotent, omniscient Deity

I notice that, not only are you capitalising random words, but you are also using the precise same fallacy which was pulled apart earlier this afternoon. God cannot be both omnipotent and omniscient. Your failure to acknowledge this, after it was explained to you very precisely, lends strong support to the notion that you are a pseudo-intellectual nincompoop, unaware that part of having debates is acknowledging when your argument is wrong.

A man who cannot admit error is a man who cannot learn. This probably explains why all your posts are thin on reason and thick with synonyms. You can find synonyms easily through Google. Reason however is a bit more difficult to come by. You can't fake that.

Side: I disagree
WinstonC(415) Disputed
1 point

"I don't possess this information, and I didn't claim to. I can, however, logically extrapolate from given information; the "best" possible course of events, being set up by an omnipotent, omniscient Deity must be universally perfect, and therefore homogeneous in terms of morality and fortune of outcome. As history does not follow along these lines, it follows that these assumptions are inaccurate."

You acknowledge your inability to know the best course of events and yet stipulate what the best course of events would be? That's completely paradoxical. Further, my view of a creator is not that of an overbearing tyrant that feels the need to control everything. I imagine that a God, if/when taking any action on his creation at all, would merely gently guide people.

"We're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient entity here. If suffering is an immutably necessary prerequisite to our existence, it follows that God is not, in fact, omnipotent. If it was, it would, by definition be capable of creating reality in a manner that did not require suffering, in which case its existence is deliberate, thus tying into my original point."

Firstly, you assume that omnipotence makes impossible events possible. This may not be the case, one cannot even countenance a triangle with three right angles, for example. However, let's assume it is the case that to be omnipotent requires the ability to do impossible things. How, in your estimation, does a world where pleasure has no significance measure up to our current reality? In addition, if suffering didn't exist but pleasure still had significance, we cannot even imagine such a reality. Since we cannot even imagine such a reality how are we to compare and contrast it with our current reality? How can we, lacking in the ability to compare these potentialities, make the assertion that one is better than the other?

"Further, "free will" does not abdicate God of responsibility for the effects of its actions; our actions are dictated by our genetic predispositions, coupled with environmental circumstances, both of which God orchestrated with full knowledge of their implications."

Dictated? So you don't believe in free will at all? Obviously as a psychologist I am aware that there are environmental, genetic, social etc. influences on behavior but taking a stance of pure determinism requires belief. There is no proof of pure determinism, moreover it isn't even possible to prove. If one accepts free will (admittedly also unprovable), however, one can see that God has no responsibility for the actions of his creations. Are you suddenly a true believer in pure determinism or are you holding to it simply because it aids your nascent worldview?

"Atheism (when using the term accurately, as is so often not the case nowadays) is, by definition, a lack of a worldview. To what are you referring, then?"

When confronted with dissonant information that doesn't fit one's worldview, and the incongruity is recognized, one's old belief system shatters. A new belief system which can accommodate the dissonant information then emerges. This is exactly what you have went through: your old worldview was destroyed and a new one emerged. Atheism certainly isn't a lack of a worldview, everybody has a worldview. One could be an agnostic atheist and not hold any belief on the existence or non-existence of God, however they would still hold a worldview.

Moreover, in your statement that "theism is inherently self-contradictory", you are demonstrating atheism in a non-agnostic manner. In other words, your assertion implies you don't believe a God is even possible, rather than simply lacking a belief that one exists.

I completely respect your right to believe or not believe anything you wish, however the seemingly dissonant information which caused your worldview change isn't actually dissonant at all. Just so you know, I used to be a Christian, then became a militant atheist, then an agnostic atheist and now I'm theistic.

Side: I disagree
StarTrekFan(2) Disputed Banned
1 point

Atheism (when using the term accurately, as is so often not the case nowadays) is, by definition, a lack of a worldview.

As previously discussed, your claims are almost always false because you are a pseudo-intellectual who does not understand the topics he writes about. Unfortunately, one has to wade through a smorgasbord of unnecessary synonyms to elicit just what the fuck you are saying first, since part of your pseudo-intellectual belief system is the idea that abuse of the online thesaurus is a good substitute for knowing what the fuck you are talking about.

"By definition", atheism is:-

Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/atheism

Neither disbelief or lack of belief in God fit the profile of a "lack of worldview". Disbelief in God is the same thing as belief in no God, and "lack of belief" in God is the same thing as disbelief in God. If someone says they lack belief in something, they are saying they don't believe it. If the question is God or no God then there is no answer you can possibly give which makes you neutral, other than: "I don't believe I can answer that question". Which is of course, by definition, agnosticism.

Side: I disagree

Theists (specifically Monotheists) usually assume both the morality, omniscience, and omnipotence of God. With these in mind, that such a being would be aware of the objectively "best" (here meaning morally correct for all involved) course of events that could take place, and how to cause this chain of happenings to manifest. As this being is also moral and omnipotent, it possesses both the will and the means to do so. With these starting assumptions (and the assumed existence of God itself) in mind, it follows that all the events of history have been the objectively "best" possible for all involved.

Interesting thought. I had come to a similar conclusion, but my only problem is that we cannot know what God deems as "best". What if God believes that the existence of free will and the ability to exercise that will is "best"? This would mean that the "best" possible outcome for his creation is for them to make their own decisions regardless if they are against his commands and beliefs.

Also, following up with the ways people see God, what if God is not omniscient or omnipotent? What cannot test God's abilities or measure them (another reason why I question the faith sometimes). My reasoning above may be flawed and if it is do not be afraid to point it out or give your own thoughts about it. This is certainly an interesting topic.

Side: I disagree
LichPotato(362) Clarified
1 point

Perhaps I should have been more clear; the initial assumptions and context of the terms used (specifically "Morality" and "God") were derived from Monotheistic theology. Of course, without a "holy book" to go by, the concept of "God" becomes far less concrete, and therefore more inclusive of characteristics like the absence of omniscience or omnipotence.

Side: I agree
1 point

It's a very well put together piece and you make your points fairly and rationally, I dislike the unfairness of the way all your perfectly reasonable points and commentary are down-voted which seems to be a norm on CD to well presented arguments .

You state in your piece .......Best-case scenario, "God" either does not possess the will or the means to set in motion the "best" set of events. In the former case, this entity is apathetic at best and sadistic at worst, and in the latter, why call such a being "God"?

The classic argument used against your argument is how can you as a mere mortal judge what is " best " when it comes to gods standards ?

How can you know the will of god ?

Christians defend the most appalling atrocities carried out by their god and see them as perfectly " moral " as it's god carrying out the actions and god knows best .

If god suddenly appeared to humans and said killing was corrrect would it be so because he said so ?

Regarding moral law Calvin put it this way: "Deus legibus solutus est, sed non exlex." "God is free from laws, but He is not immoral." Somehow moral laws, also in eternity, will be the reflection of His will and personality.

Incidentally your line of argumentation is good and perfectly rational, the believer constantly shifts the goal posts to re -define what his /her god is or isn't to combat all arguments .

Side: I disagree