Debate 2: Whether there exists a supreme being.

Debate 2: Whether there exists a supreme being.
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#1 - Quote - Permalink
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Posted Apr 17, 2004 - 2:15 PM:

Arguing the affirmative: Bluster
Arguing the negative: Distortion

Type: Turns

Rounds: 7

Bluster will go first.

Notes: I will leave it up to the debaters to decide exactly what is meant by "supreme being." At the very least, however, perhaps it should mean "creator of all things."
Arguing for the existence of an Abrahamic god or some other specific kind is not the focus here, though certainly if either opponent chooses to use the theological arguments of any of the religions or spiritual traditions, they are welcome.

I don't want there to be any worries about definitions within the debate itself, so if there are any concerns with that, I ask both participants to clarify it with me beforehand.

Comments: I guess pretty much any debate forum has to have a debate about God, sooner or later. Though I think there may be more, perhaps with a more nuanced scope, this will be your regular old, "Is there a God," debate.

Discussions about this debate should take place here , in the Discussion sub-forum.

Do us proud, gentlemen.
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Posted Apr 19, 2004 - 3:49 PM:

Let me start with introducing a concept of the First Source and Center, the only ´uncaused reality´. This First Source and Center is the origin of all the components that comprise physical and non-physical reality in the Universe.

Proponents of the different flavors of the Big Bang theory can understand this concept as one very closely related to the concept of Singularity.

Yet, it is Singularity Plus. Singularity with a Will. It has a personal aspect which we can understand as God - Personal aspect of Deity (First Source and Center that also encompasses non-personal aspects).

This is my working definition of God: Personality of the First Source and Center.

I will use the following lines of discussion to illustrate the logic and reason behind the probability of the existence of God as well as the First Source and Center:

1. Strong Anthropic Universe Argument that would illustrate my point of the intelligence embedded into the very fabric of the universe

2. Brief analysis of the evolutionary development of religions and the concept of God.

3. Overview of Revelation as a down-reach technique through which God speaks to mankind.

4. Inspecting individual´s inner life - the arena where man and God meet.

5. Restating the teaching of Jesus who, in my opinion, is the perfect revelation of ´God to Man and of Man to God´.

My main premises are as following:

God is the personality of the First Source and Center

Human concepts of God are imperfect and often erroneous approximation. Such concepts are conditioned by numerous social, political, evolutionary, and intellectual limitations.

Total universe contains time-space as well as absolute (timeless and space-less) components

The Universe is a creation yet subject to evolutionary process.

Evolution is ´creation in time´

God is personally approachable by any normal-minded human being who wishes to know God.

Science can never prove or disprove existence of God


My main task though would be to try to illustrate how and why God has some serious vested interest in each and every human being. I will try to upgrade the existing concept of God in order to bring him up to the appropriate level of Deity that has conceived, created, and is actively managing the magnificent Universe we happen to be a part of from the provincial and primitive concept of God as it is presented in many an evolutionary religion as they are presently practiced and taught on this planet.

I would also try to illustrate why it is important for human beings to choose God (not necessarily one of the pre-packaged turn-key solutions offered by the organized religions) even in the absence of solid and irrefutable scientific proof. I will look into the importance of Faith.

Each of the above mentioned topics deserves its own separate discussion. It will be very easy in the heat of the oncoming discussion to exceed the format of this debate, or worse - leave some of the topics undeveloped. I will let my opponent to choose which lines of discussion he (or she) would like to concentrate on.

Any additional topics or suggestions for developing the above-mentioned propositions are also welcomed.
Distortion
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Posted Apr 20, 2004 - 9:20 PM:

Let me start with introducing a concept of the First Source and Center, the only ´uncaused reality´. This First Source and Center is the origin of all the components that comprise physical and non-physical reality in the Universe.

Proponents of the different flavors of the Big Bang theory can understand this concept as one very closely related to the concept of Singularity.


And how is this different from the 'singularity' from which our universe was supposedly 'started' with (according to big-band theory, which seems to parallel what you're saying the most). The singularity is logically substantiated and demonstrable through the observable universe - this 'first source' and 'non-physical reality', however, is not. Please tell us why we should even consider the existence of these things you suggest (for no apparent reason!).

As well, this 'non-physical' reality that you speak of... where is it? How do you know it's there? What 'exists' there? All in all, what is there to suggest that it exists any more than Distortion's 11th dimension fantasy land where I have 365 Ferrari's and I drive a different one every day? smiling face

Yet, it is Singularity Plus. Singularity with a Will. It has a personal aspect which we can understand as God - Personal aspect of Deity (First Source and Center that also encompasses non-personal aspects).


How does a singularity - which as far as we know is composed of (some form) of matter have a 'will'? How do you know there is a will? Even if an infinitely dense piece of matter could have a 'will' - what would it's will be? Gee, I feel like exploding and creating a universe for no particular reason. Lets do that! smiling face

Once again, how are any of your claims different from me saying, 'the magical pink elephant created the singularity which created our universe, and it has a will, and it's what we can understand as God'?

This is my working definition of God: Personality of the First Source and Center.


You can't define an entity such as a 'god' as an attribute of something that hasn't been defined itself. That would be like me saying 'God' is the personality of magical entity jNixem. What is 'First Souce and Center'? What are the attributes of it? What are it's limitations? And, of course... how do you know any of this?

I will use the following lines of discussion to illustrate the logic and reason behind the probability of the existence of God as well as the First Source and Center:


In my mind, there is a clear distinction between 'lines of logic' and unsubstantiated claims and semantical loops like attempting to define something as an attribute of something as yet undefined. But I'll address each point individually, anyway.

1. Strong Anthropic Universe Argument that would illustrate my point of the intelligence embedded into the very fabric of the universe


What argument do you speak of? Referencing the name of an 'argument' doesn't qualify as an argument, sorry.

2. Brief analysis of the evolutionary development of religions and the concept of God.


One can quite easily demonstrate that the evolution of religions parallels humans and societies quite nicely, (and I am willing to provide this analysis in great detail, if you would like to take up the point). This would not only not support the concept of God - it would debunk it and support the idea that God is a human creation and the very 'concept' of God evolves throughout time as human cultures evolve and change their ideas about 'him'.

3. Overview of Revelation as a down-reach technique through which God speaks to mankind.


First of all, what is 'Revelation' in the first place? Besides, we have to substantiate God's existence long before we even touch the issue of whether he 'speaks' to mankind - unless you think you can use his 'communication' as a demonstrable means to show his existence (hint, hint)! smiling face

4. Inspecting individual´s inner life - the arena where man and God meet.


God 'inspects' people's lives? What evidence is there of this? How do you know he does this? Ect...

5. Restating the teaching of Jesus who, in my opinion, is the perfect revelation of ´God to Man and of Man to God´.


Restating the 'teachings of Jesus' won't do anything but fill the thread with useless spam. Before anything that Jesus says means anything relative to God - you'd have to demonstrate that Jesus actually did have 'something to do with God' - as far as I can tell, he had nothing to do with him.

My main premises are as following:

God is the personality of the First Source and Center


As above, this 'definition' is utterly meaningless and is just a loop of semantics. If 'god' is to mean anything, he needs to be defined in terms of attributes, limitations (if any), and ect.

Human concepts of God are imperfect and often erroneous approximation. Such concepts are conditioned by numerous social, political, evolutionary, and intellectual limitations.


And what is to say, therefore, that your concept is not only an erroneous approximation, but is completely wrong? Why is your concept any better than say - the Greek's concept? Why is this 'First Source' that you speak of any more plausible, demonstrable, than Zeus and Hades? smiling face

Of course concepts of God are conditioned by social, political, evolutionary, and intellectual limitations - I would argue that is there primary source in the first place.

Total universe contains time-space as well as absolute (timeless and space-less) components


Another unfounded, unsubstantiated claim. Where exactly are these 'timeless and spaceless 'components' you speak of? What are they? How do you know they exist?

The Universe is a creation yet subject to evolutionary process.


If, the natural process of the wholistic expansion and 'entropy' dissolution of the universe could be called an 'evolutionary process' - then yes, but this has no bearing on the existence of a God. Many things, from the universe to this discussion 'evolve', this isn't to suggest anything other than evolution is a fundamental way things go over time in many situations.

The Universe is a creation yet subject to evolutionary process.


If the universe is a 'creation' - how do you know this? What is there to suggest this? Even if it is a creation - what was it created by? Who created the creator? Ad infinitum.

Evolution is ´creation in time´


You can call evolution 'Blusters magical process that proves God exists', if you want, but that doesn't make it so.

God is personally approachable by any normal-minded human being who wishes to know God.


How so? If a God exists, I'd sure like to be in cohorts with him, but I've never been able to find any reason he exists, much less method to 'approach' or otherwise communicate with him. So I guess that means I can just say you're wrong based on my own experience. Either way, you have to substantiate God's existence before you can explain how we can communicate with 'him'.

Science can never prove or disprove existence of God


Nor can science prove or disprove the existence of the magical pink elephant. What is your point?

My main task though would be to try to illustrate how and why God has some serious vested interest in each and every human being.


Before you can move on to preaching to us about how God loves us, you have to convince us he exists - actually. So that would, therefore, be your 'main task'.

I would also try to illustrate why it is important for human beings to choose God (not necessarily one of the pre-packaged turn-key solutions offered by the organized religions) even in the absence of solid and irrefutable scientific proof. I will look into the importance of Faith.


Faith (aka. unfounded belief in something or other..) has no bearing on whether god exists or does not exist. It's either one or the other, and faith doesn't affect whether or not he does or doesn't - so I think we can safely leave faith out of the debate. Faith has no bearing on the issue at hand - which is whether God exists or does not exist.

Each of the above mentioned topics deserves its own separate discussion. It will be very easy in the heat of the oncoming discussion to exceed the format of this debate, or worse - leave some of the topics undeveloped. I will let my opponent to choose which lines of discussion he (or she) would like to concentrate on.


Well, I've found all your 'points' as being somewhat useless, so lets try this again. I'd like to concentrate very directly on the topic of the debate. Does God exist? If he does, please provide some reason to show he does indeed exist, otherwise we can safely assume that he doesn't, with nothing more to suggest that he does than there is to suggest that the magical pink elephant does.
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#4 - Quote - Permalink
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Posted Apr 21, 2004 - 5:38 AM:

Distortion wrote:
And how is this different from the 'singularity' from which our universe was supposedly 'started' with (according to big-band theory, which seems to parallel what you're saying the most).


Actually, ´singularity´is a rather simplified and imperfect illustration of the First Source and Center. It is used merely to draw a logical parallel with the modern cosmological theories.

The First Source and Center is by definition absolute, infinite, and eternal, hence it can´t really have an actual beginning nor could it at any point change.

Distortion wrote:
The singularity is logically substantiated and demonstrable through the observable universe - this 'first source' and 'non-physical reality', however, is not. Please tell us why we should even consider the existence of these things you suggest (for no apparent reason!).


The singularity is logically substantiated based on our imperfect and ever evolving knowledge and more then inadequate observations of the universe. It is still unclear what havoc would the recent discoveries of the ´dark matter´ and its role in the universe as well as ever increasing observations of galaxies and star clusters dating closer and closer to the supposed date of the Big Bang would wreak on our existing perceptions and thinking about the universe and its origins potentially doing away with the ´singularity´ concept all together. The First Source and Center would remain a logical possibility and a reasonable explanation of the origins of the universe no matter how the theories might change.

In any case, the universe is an effect. The First Source and Center is the postulated cause. It is logically plausible and reasonable based on our experience and our methods of thinking.

Our debate can boil down to the discussion of whether the universe ´just is´ - your position, or that the universe has a cause because everything in our experience does. Which position seems more logical to you?

Distortion wrote:
As well, this 'non-physical' reality that you speak of... where is it? How do you know it's there? What 'exists' there? All in all, what is there to suggest that it exists any more than Distortion's 11th dimension fantasy land where I have 365 Ferrari's and I drive a different one every day? smiling face


The non-physical reality that I speak of is right here right now. It is actually all around us. You are using it and come in contact with it all the time... you are actually using it to formulate and deny its very existence.

Mind is not inherent in matter. It takes a living organism to express mind on finite (time-space) level. Physical matter and systems are enthropic, living organisms are anti-enthropic. I hold that mind is a non-physical reality that is functionally bound, but not limited to the expression through the biological device of brain on the finite level while it can be discerned acting separetly from the living finite organisms on super-material level in the structure and function of the universe (The Strong Anthropic Universe Argument).

Distortion wrote:
How does a singularity - which as far as we know is composed of (some form) of matter have a 'will'? How do you know there is a will? Even if an infinitely dense piece of matter could have a 'will' - what would it's will be? Gee, I feel like exploding and creating a universe for no particular reason. Lets do that! smiling face


Once again, singularity is an imperfect illustration of the First Source and Center. My argument for Will of the First Source and Center is based on the fact of the existence of will in human beings. If we are thought to evolve as part of the creation that encompasses will in some of its creatures, it is only logical to conclude the pre-existence of will in its source. ´Universal causes can´t be lower then the universal effects´.

If we are to assume that an infinite and eternal being has created the universe, we could hardly hope to formulate or to define a ´particular´reason as to why such a being would do so. We can only speculate and try to understand the purpose(s)

Distortion wrote:
Once again, how are any of your claims different from me saying, 'the magical pink elephant created the singularity which created our universe, and it has a will, and it's what we can understand as God'?


Your statement is a diminutive attempt to discredit a logical explanation of possible origins of the universe and the nature of God. I refuse to answer this question.

Distortion wrote:
You can't define an entity such as a 'god' as an attribute of something that hasn't been defined itself. That would be like me saying 'God' is the personality of magical entity jNixem. What is 'First Source and Center'? What are the attributes of it? What are it's limitations? And, of course... how do you know any of this?


If we can agree on cause-effect relationship enlarged to cover the universe totality and the black box that had possibly ´caused´it, we can agree on the likability of the existence of the First Source and Center as ´the only uncaused reality´. Otherwise we are stack with two dilemmas:

Either infinite regression of causation which is hardly logical or the dead end of singularity which rests on hardly unshakable scientific evidence.

If we can agree on personality presence in human beings. Personality being defined as the quality of existence that has will, then we can postulate the existence of the personality of the First Source and Center based on the evidence of existence of personality in the universe.

I would defer the discussion of the attributes and nature of the First Source and Center until we can come at least to a tentative agreement on the possibility of its existence for the purpose of this debate.

Distortion wrote:
In my mind, there is a clear distinction between 'lines of logic' and unsubstantiated claims and semantical loops like attempting to define something as an attribute of something as yet undefined. But I'll address each point individually, anyway.


Please, see my statements above

Distortion wrote:
What argument do you speak of? Referencing the name of an 'argument' doesn't qualify as an argument, sorry.


It was my mistake to assume your familiarity with the ´Strong Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Basically it states that life and intelligence are inherent and inevitable based on the observation of the laws and cosmological constants of the universe.

Distortion wrote:
One can quite easily demonstrate that the evolution of religions parallels humans and societies quite nicely, (and I am willing to provide this analysis in great detail, if you would like to take up the point).


I agree with you on this point. Evolution of religion is innately bound with the individual and social development. Neither an individual human being nor a human society can absorb nor process specific information or formulate progressive ideas prior to achieving a stage of development that contains all the necessary components for such a conceptual leap.

You can see the parallel in education. It is quite pointless to teach relational calculus to a child before she can master basic arithmetic.

It would be pointless and unjustified to dispute evolutionary nature of religions, but it is hardly forgivable to discard the revelation component in some of them.

Revelation is a technique through which an information flow from the ´higher reality´ is delivered to the human kind.


Distortion wrote:
This would not only not support the concept of God - it would debunk it and support the idea that God is a human creation and the very 'concept' of God evolves throughout time as human cultures evolve and change their ideas about 'him'.


First of all there are probably as many ´concepts´of God as there are human beings. I do not see how the analysis of the evolution of the ´concept´ of God can debunk the fact of existence of God...

It is only logical to assume that a finite being would ever progress and evolve in its understanding of an infinite being without ever reaching a complete and perfect realization.

To debunk the idea of the existence of God based on historical evidence one first needs to make up his mind about the non-existence of God. For those who have faith in God and who accept the evolution as the natural component of human progress such arguments are hardly convincing.

Distortion wrote:
First of all, what is 'Revelation' in the first place? Besides, we have to substantiate God's existence long before we even touch the issue of whether he 'speaks' to mankind - unless you think you can use his 'communication' as a demonstrable means to show his existence (hint, hint)! smiling face


Revelation is a communication technique where information is presented that would otherwise take eons to evolve if the events are to take its natural course.

He Who Has an Ear, Let Him Hear". You have to open up a part of you in order to be able to accept and to process revelation.

Distortion wrote:
God 'inspects' people's lives? What evidence is there of this? How do you know he does this? Ect...


Well, I actually was not talking about God ´inspecting´ people´s life. I was talking though about inspecting individual components of the inner life of a human being and demonstrating the presence of God. I know this because I and countless others have experienced such presence.

Distortion wrote:
Restating the 'teachings of Jesus' won't do anything but fill the thread with useless spam. Before anything that Jesus says means anything relative to God - you'd have to demonstrate that Jesus actually did have 'something to do with God' - as far as I can tell, he had nothing to do with him.


We can drop this line of argument then

Distortion wrote:
As above, this 'definition' is utterly meaningless and is just a loop of semantics. If 'god' is to mean anything, he needs to be defined in terms of attributes, limitations (if any), and ect.


Please, see my arguments in the beginning of this post.

Distortion wrote:
And what is to say, therefore, that your concept is not only an erroneous approximation, but is completely wrong? Why is your concept any better than say - the Greek's concept? Why is this 'First Source' that you speak of any more plausible, demonstrable, than Zeus and Hades? smiling face


I am pretty sure that my concept is an erroneous approximation, moreover, as it evolves it will continue being such, albeight, hopefully, it will become slightly less erroneous....

Please, see my arguments above about the demonstrability of the existence of the First Source and Center.

Distortion wrote:
Of course concepts of God are conditioned by social, political, evolutionary, and intellectual limitations - I would argue that is there primary source in the first place.


Please, do so...

Distortion wrote:
Another unfounded, unsubstantiated claim. Where exactly are these 'timeless and spaceless 'components' you speak of? What are they? How do you know they exist?


They are ´there´. I know of their existence through the revelation and because I have personally experienced them

Distortion wrote:
If, the natural process of the wholistic expansion and 'entropy' dissolution of the universe could be called an 'evolutionary process' - then yes, but this has no bearing on the existence of a God. Many things, from the universe to this discussion 'evolve', this isn't to suggest anything other than evolution is a fundamental way things go over time in many situations.


What evidence do you have fro the ´'entropy' dissolution of the universe´? What evidence do you have to substantiate all of the above-stated claims in general?

Distortion wrote:
If the universe is a 'creation' - how do you know this? What is there to suggest this? Even if it is a creation - what was it created by? Who created the creator? Ad infinitum.


What is the universe if not a creation? [Edit]

Distortion wrote:
You can call evolution 'Blusters magical process that proves God exists', if you want, but that doesn't make it so.


Why not?

Distortion wrote:
How so? If a God exists, I'd sure like to be in cohorts with him, but I've never been able to find any reason he exists, much less method to 'approach' or otherwise communicate with him. So I guess that means I can just say you're wrong based on my own experience. Either way, you have to substantiate God's existence before you can explain how we can communicate with 'him'.


You can be in ´cohorts´ with God if you wish. You can´t find him by searching, but you can find him at any time by believing. Faith is the only technique available in human experience that allows us to approach God.

Make an effort. Make it in private, make it personal. It is between you and God after all.

I can only substantiate God´s existence through my experience which is the direct opposite of yours. Is it what it boils down to: my word against yours?


Distortion wrote:
Nor can science prove or disprove the existence of the magical pink elephant. What is your point?


I doubt that the question of the existence of pink elephants have sufficient importance to be addressed by science. My point is that science can´t prove nor disprove the existence of God.

Distortion wrote:
Before you can move on to preaching to us about how God loves us, you have to convince us he exists - actually. So that would, therefore, be your 'main task'.


You mean, I have to convince you, right? There are more people who´ve experienced the Love of God and his existence then those who haven´t. I can´t convince you if you do not wish to be convinced. It is actually not my goal. I can no more convince you that God exists that you can convince me that he doesn´t.

Distortion wrote:
Faith (aka. unfounded belief in something or other..) has no bearing on whether god exists or does not exist. It's either one or the other, and faith doesn't affect whether or not he does or doesn't - so I think we can safely leave faith out of the debate. Faith has no bearing on the issue at hand - which is whether God exists or does not exist.


You underestimate the critical importance of Faith in forming relationship with God, but I am willing to let the issue go for the sake of the debate.

Distortion wrote:
Well, I've found all your 'points' as being somewhat useless, so lets try this again. I'd like to concentrate very directly on the topic of the debate. Does God exist? If he does, please provide some reason to show he does indeed exist, otherwise we can safely assume that he doesn't, with nothing more to suggest that he does than there is to suggest that the magical pink elephant does.


I am a little concerned about your obsession with the pink elephants... Before we can start discussing the existence of God, we need to come to some sort of agreement of what God is. My statements in the beginning of this post argue for the likability of the existing of God as the Personality of the First Source and Center.

If you disagree with my approach, you are welcome to present your arguments about the non-existence of God and we will take it from there.
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