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Debate Challenge

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Debate Challenge
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PhilosopherUser avatarPosts: 97Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:22 pm Gender: Male

Post Debate Challenge

So, I'm wondering if anyone here would be willing to debate me over the proposition "God exists." I will be affirming and my opponent negating. By God, I mean one deity who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, etc... I will not be defending any religion in particular, just theism.

This debate, however, wouldn't be for another few days (or maybe even weeks). It just depends on when my current debate concludes.

Terms will be discussed later on in this thread.


EDIT: I'm also willing to debate issues within theism/atheism such as the problem of evil, the success of the cosmological argument, the fairness of hell, the coherence of divine attributes, etc..
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. - Dallas Willard
Last edited by Philosopher on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:53 am
Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Quick question:
Can you define god in unambiguous terms?

I only ask because, if not, we may as well end this now.
Our prefrontal lobes are too small. Much too small. That's a problem of the birth canal, I'm very sorry to say for those that like their birth canals... tight.
-C. Hitchens.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:57 am
PhilosopherUser avatarPosts: 97Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:22 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

I already said a being who has properties such as omnipotence and omniscience. If you want to know what those terms mean, then omnipotence means the ability to do anything that is metaphysically possible, while omniscience is knowledge of every true proposition.

If you want the technical definition of God (which is refrained from giving because it might cause some confusion), then God is the greatest possible being.
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. - Dallas Willard
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:02 am
)O( Hytegia )O(League LegendUser avatarPosts: 3135Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:27 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Philosopher wrote:I already said a being who has properties such as omnipotent and omniscience. If you want to know what those terms mean, then omnipotence means the ability to do anything that is metaphysically possible, while omniscience is knowledge of every true proposition.

If you want the technical definition of God (which is refrained from giving because it might cause some confusion), then God is the greatest possible being.

The problem is that the divinity you describe is only given those attributes within Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The rest of the world has many gods and only a few given certain attributes - for example, Odin cannot see everything, but he has been granted Eternal Wisdom of the deeper inner workings of the Universe, so he can predict almost exactly how things will turn out with both the gods and Man.

I would be happy to argue that none of those can make an ultimate entity within our Universe - but you need to refine the debate topic.
Some would insinuate that being drunk at 9 in the morning to be signs of serious issues.
Me? I'd insinuate it as signs of no plans and a refrigerator full of Whiskey and Guinness.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:06 am
PhilosopherUser avatarPosts: 97Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:22 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

)O( Hytegia )O( wrote:
Philosopher wrote:I already said a being who has properties such as omnipotent and omniscience. If you want to know what those terms mean, then omnipotence means the ability to do anything that is metaphysically possible, while omniscience is knowledge of every true proposition.

If you want the technical definition of God (which is refrained from giving because it might cause some confusion), then God is the greatest possible being.

The problem is that divinity is only given those attributes within Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The rest of the world has many gods and only a few given certain attributes - for example, Odin cannot see everything, but he has been granted Eternal Wisdom of the deeper inner workings of the Universe, so he can predict almost exactly how things will turn out with both the gods and Man.

I would be happy to argue that none of those can make an ultimate entity within our Universe - but you need to refine the debate topic.


Yes, but they're not exclusive to those three religions. I am not going to bother with special revelation in the debate -- just general revelation. In other words, I'm going to argue that God exists, but not which god.
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. - Dallas Willard
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:09 am
)O( Hytegia )O(League LegendUser avatarPosts: 3135Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:27 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Philosopher wrote:Yes, but they're not exclusive to those three religions. I am not going to bother with special revelation in the debate -- just general revelation. In other words, I'm going to argue that God exists, but not which god.

The problem is that you HAVE to decide. I could use the argument in Reverse as to justify his noodliness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster's, divinity - the point of a debate is that you refine it to a one-sentence argument in which one person argues an affirmative, and the other a negative.
Some would insinuate that being drunk at 9 in the morning to be signs of serious issues.
Me? I'd insinuate it as signs of no plans and a refrigerator full of Whiskey and Guinness.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:13 am
PhilosopherUser avatarPosts: 97Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:22 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Like I said, I'm not arguing for any specific deity, I'm just arguing for a general conception of deity. You can call it whatever you want -- it just has to have the properties of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, etc...
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. - Dallas Willard
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:14 am
Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Philosopher wrote:I already said a being who has properties such as omnipotence and omniscience. If you want to know what those terms mean, then omnipotence means the ability to do anything that is metaphysically possible, while omniscience is knowledge of every true proposition.

If you want the technical definition of God (which is refrained from giving because it might cause some confusion), then God is the greatest possible being.

Hardly unambiguous, but I digress...

Asside from omnipotence and omniscience being seemingly contradictory, certainly the unchanging quality (not attributed to god by you, but often done so) is contradictory to omnipotence, which may in fact also be contradictory unto itself, as well as your "greatest possible" descriptor. So I'm going to go ahead and call your definition contradictory as well as ambiguous.

For instance:
The creation of the universe is the most marvelous achievement imaginable.
The merit of an achievement is the product of (a) its intrinsic quality, and (b) the ability of its creator.
The greater the disability (or handicap) of the creator, the more impressive the achievement.
The most formidable handicap for a creator would be non-existence.
Therefore if we suppose that the universe is the product of an existent creator we can conceive a greater being , namely, one who created everything while not existing.
Therefore, God does not exist.

can we /thread now?
Our prefrontal lobes are too small. Much too small. That's a problem of the birth canal, I'm very sorry to say for those that like their birth canals... tight.
-C. Hitchens.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:15 am
)O( Hytegia )O(League LegendUser avatarPosts: 3135Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:27 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Philosopher wrote:Like I said, I'm not arguing for any specific deity, I'm just arguing for a general conception of deity. You can call it whatever you want -- it just has to have the properties of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, etc...


Are you saying that my gods aren't gods because they lack silly and impossible traits? I'd take you up on that debate, but I can destroy any terms of "Omni-" in a single post, and I don't want to waste bandwidth so I can. (This is not me chickening out, or hassling you. The entire premise of Omni-anything can be placed into a paradox, making it impossible to exist within the realms of a Logical Universe).


Destroying Omnipotence:

"Can God microwave a burrito so hot that he cannot eat it?"
Some would insinuate that being drunk at 9 in the morning to be signs of serious issues.
Me? I'd insinuate it as signs of no plans and a refrigerator full of Whiskey and Guinness.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:20 am
PhilosopherUser avatarPosts: 97Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:22 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Guys, this thread isn't supposed to be a debate. I'll respond, but I would like you to remain on topic.

Destroying Omnipotence:

"Can God microwave a burrito so hot that he cannot eat it?"


This just attacks a gross strawman. Omnipotence is the ability to do only what is logically possible. God cannot make square circles, God cannot make married bachelors, he cannot make rocks so large that he can't lift -- these are all logical impossibilities. This is how omnipotence has been historically understood (All the way back to Boethius). Omnipotence is the ability to do all that power can do. No amount of power can actualize a logical contradiction.

Don't try to be so smug. No sophisticated critic of theism uses this argument -- it's just one of those popular arguments.


Anachronous Rex, that ontological argument you posted is a parody. It's not a real argument. The fifth premise is false.
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. - Dallas Willard
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:26 am
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Tempting... as long as the ontological argument is ruled out. It makes all pandas sad :(
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:34 am
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PhilosopherUser avatarPosts: 97Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:22 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

I might use the ontological argument though ;) It's stronger than what the popular literature portrays it to be.
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. - Dallas Willard
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:35 am
)O( Hytegia )O(League LegendUser avatarPosts: 3135Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:27 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Philosopher wrote:Guys, this thread isn't supposed to be a debate. I'll respond, but I would like you to remain on topic.

Destroying Omnipotence:

"Can God microwave a burrito so hot that he cannot eat it?"


This just attacks a gross strawman. Omnipotence is the ability to do only what is logically possible. God cannot make square circles, God cannot make married bachelors, he cannot make rocks so large that he can't lift -- these are all logical impossibilities. This is how omnipotence has been historically understood (All the way back to Boethius). Omnipotence is the ability to do all that power can do. No amount of power can actualize a logical contradiction.

Don't try to be so smug. No sophisticated critic of theism uses this arguments -- it's just one of those populat arguments.


I wasn't trying to derail the thread... I really wasn't. Because it's not really an issue that a new thread should be wasted on.

It's a valid point, though. The literal word means:
Dictionary.com wrote:om,·nip,·o,·tent
   /ɒmˈnɪpətənt/ Show Spelled[om-nip-uh-tuhnt]
-adjective
1. almighty or infinite in power, as God.
2. having very great or unlimited authority or power.
-noun
3. an omnipotent being.
4. the Omnipotent, God.



I don't want to be mean, but your response has boiled down to "I don't like your argument, therefore it is irrelevant because I'm right and you're wrong." You've constricted an omnipotent being into the confines of mortal limits and within mortal constraints - MORTALS cannot contradict themselves because we have limits. We are not Omni-Potent. We are simply Potent.
If you confine an omnipotent being into mortal limits, it is no longer "ALL - POWERFUL."
Some would insinuate that being drunk at 9 in the morning to be signs of serious issues.
Me? I'd insinuate it as signs of no plans and a refrigerator full of Whiskey and Guinness.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:36 am
PhilosopherUser avatarPosts: 97Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:22 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

It's a valid point, though. The literal word means:


Using the dictionary, really? Please.... No philosopher -- theist or nontheist -- uses omnipotence as it is popularly understood.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Omnipotence is maximal power." As I said, omnipotence is the ability to do all that power can do. Since no amount of power can actualize a contradiction, this falls out of the range of omnipotence.

By the way, if you do want to ascribe the "ability" to actualize contradictions to God -- then he can do the logically contradictory, there is no paradox. Either way, this argument doesn't work.

This will be my last post on this -- these are rather silly arguments. I want to get back to debate arrangements.

Though, if you choose to debate me, we can discuss this :D
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. - Dallas Willard
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:41 am
Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Philosopher wrote:Guys, this thread isn't supposed to be a debate. I'll respond, but I would like you to remain on topic.

Destroying Omnipotence:

"Can God microwave a burrito so hot that he cannot eat it?"


This just attacks a gross strawman. Omnipotence is the ability to do only what is logically possible. God cannot make square circles, God cannot make married bachelors, he cannot make rocks so large that he can't lift -- these are all logical impossibilities. This is how omnipotence has been historically understood (All the way back to Boethius). Omnipotence is the ability to do all that power can do. No amount of power can actualize a logical contradiction.

Don't try to be so smug. No sophisticated critic of theism uses this argument -- it's just one of those popular arguments.


Anachronous Rex, that ontological argument you posted is a parody. It's not a real argument. The fifth premise is false.

Were that stating it made it so...

In any case, I care not. In order to use "the greatest possible being" as a definition we would have to know all that was possible. As this is not the case, your argument remains ambiguous. I'm not relenting on the contradictory point either; if your god is unchanging then he is not omnipotent. If he is omniscient and in any way causal, then he is not omnipotent. And if he is omnipotent under your definition, then he is not the author of logic and reason; thus pointing to the existance of a greater force then he (I can conceive of a greater being.)

If we don't have a definition, we don't have a debate. But by all means see if you can coax one of these nice people into a formal debate regarding the existance of a subject less scrutable than godzilla.
Our prefrontal lobes are too small. Much too small. That's a problem of the birth canal, I'm very sorry to say for those that like their birth canals... tight.
-C. Hitchens.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:43 am
PhilosopherUser avatarPosts: 97Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:22 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Are we seriously debating whether or not God can be defined? I don't mean to be smug, but the definition of God has been well established. It's only people in the popular culture who make us think that there's a problem.

However...

We could debate the question: "Can God be defined coherently?"
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. - Dallas Willard
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:45 am
/b/artlebyUser avatarPosts: 152Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:28 pm

Post Re: Debate Challenge

If )O( Hytegia )O( and you don't agree on a proposition I'll take it. After TC, I really want to debate someone who doesn't have contempt for the very concept of coherency... And as long as you don't quote the definition of fact from 50 different dictionaries, I'm pretty much good with any set of rules.

But that's only if you don't find an agreeable topic, I don't want to snipe a debate or anything.
I would prefer not to.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:47 am
)O( Hytegia )O(League LegendUser avatarPosts: 3135Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:27 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Philosopher wrote:Using the dictionary, really? Please.... No philosopher -- theist or nontheist -- uses omnipotence as it is popularly understood.

No True Scotsman - but I digress.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Omnipotence is maximal power." As I said, omnipotence is the ability to do all that power can do. Since no amount of power can actualize a contradiction, this falls out of the range of omnipotence.

... I can't use a dictionary unless it's a specific dictionary? You DO realize that no matter what dictionary you utilize, it will still be the term as it is popularly understood. Leveling it off to a certain group doesn't change that fact. -.-

This will be my last post on this -- these are rather silly arguments. I want to get back to debate arrangements.

Though, if you choose to debate me, we can discuss this :D

I'll debate you. Aught, set up the thread.

The statment:
"A being can exist within the confines of our perception of existence containing omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience."

I will be the negative.

Refer to this post for my proposed rules of conduct, if you would agree them to be acceptable:
viewtopic.php?f=7&p=63545#p63545
Some would insinuate that being drunk at 9 in the morning to be signs of serious issues.
Me? I'd insinuate it as signs of no plans and a refrigerator full of Whiskey and Guinness.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:49 am
Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

Philosopher wrote:Are we seriously debating whether or not God can be defined?

If you're actually skilled in science or formal debate then you would know this to be the first, and most essential, step.

I don't mean to be smug, but the definition of God has been well established.

Great! Where is it? What is it?

It's only people in the popular culture who make us think that there's a problem.

I'm going to go ahead and say the exact opposite is true. No one you're likely to run into on the street is going to ask you for a definition when you mention god, and every time an acquaintance has started into me with the converting they've been caught entirely off-guard by the point. I can scarcely remember having heard it brought up once in any debate by Hitchens, Harris, or Dawkins...

However...

We could debate the question: "Can God be defined coherently?"

Someone quick, find Theowarner!
Our prefrontal lobes are too small. Much too small. That's a problem of the birth canal, I'm very sorry to say for those that like their birth canals... tight.
-C. Hitchens.
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:53 am
PhilosopherUser avatarPosts: 97Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:22 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate Challenge

I agree to the terms, but not to the proposition being debated. How about "The attributes of God are not contradictory"

It's rather dubious to include omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence in the title because their very definitions are up for grabs.

Oh and...

Great! Where is it? What is it?


Any introduction to the philosophy of religion text. I recommend the Cambridge Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. The definition of God is the greatest possible being.
We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. - Dallas Willard
Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:55 am
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