The God Debate

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Ian - Opening Argument

I consider the following my opening statement:

(1) A rational human has (among other corollaries of reason) the capability to distinguish between truth and falsehood:
Truth - a thing which is. (A) = 1
Falsehood - a thing which is not. (B) = 0
Either something is true, or it is false. [(A*~B) v (~A*B)] (1 or 0)
Things may not be both true and false, i.e., ~(A*B) if A=true (1) and B=false (0)

Wordnet 2.0, Princeton University, 2003.
Hurley, Patrick J. - A Concise Introduction to Logic, 2005.

(2) To exist is to have actual being, or to be real. Conversely, to not exist is to not have actual being, or to be not real.
Example: A squirrel exists, a human exists.

American Heritage Dictionary, 2000.

(3) Natural things are those which exist in the natural world.

American Heritage Dictionary, 2000.
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, 2002.
Wordnet 2.0, Princeton University, 2003.

(4) Supernatural things do not exist in nature; specifically, they are not physical or material.

Source: Wordnet 2.0, Princeton University, 2003.

(5) God is a supernatural being.

Wordnet 2.0, Princeton University, 2003.
American Heritage Dictionary, 2000.

(6) Ockham's razor is a law in science and philosophy stating that entities should not be multiplied needlessly. This is interpreted to mean that the simplest of two or more competing theories is preferable and that an explanation for unknown phenomena should first be attempted in terms of what is already known.

Wordnet 2.0, Princeton University, 2003.
The American Heritage Dictionary, 2000.

(7) Knowledge is the awareness of that which exists.

Merriam-Webster's dictionary of law, 1996.


A. Supernatural things are unclassifiable by features in nature. (4)

B. By definition, a supernatural thing is not physical nor material and cannot exist in nature (3, 4, 1).

C. All natural things are real. (2,3)

D. All supernatural things are not real. (2)

E. God is a supernatural being.

F. God is not real. (D, 2, 5) Specifically, God does not exist.

G. All arguments default with the assumption that God does not exist, since non-existence
is a simpler explanation than anything else. (6)

H. Knowledge is the awareness of things which are real. (2,7)

I. The supernatural cannot be known. (C, D, ~H)

J. God cannot be known. (E, I)


God is unknowable. God's existence is impossible.

To be honest your argument about God's exsistence being imposible is false. First off the arugment it self is weak and doesn't provide any factual evidence of the non-exsistence of God. There were only Dictionary References and definitions provided. The argument must be expanded and put more into prespective into reality.
In order for the argument to be demonstrable as weak, one must provide either a critique of the argument's content (demonstrating a problem with one of the statements) or a critique of the argument's form (demonstrating a problem with a link between one of the statements).

Since every statement is derived from one or more dictionary definitions, there can be no debate about any of the terms or definition: one can argue against the dictionary only under very special circumstances.

There is no "factual proof" of the non-existence of God; such proof is not needed. Since nothing is a simpler explanation than something, and since nothing requires no evidence; nothing is assumed to be the default simplest possible explanation for anything. Since God is more complex than nothing, the default argumentative position is that God does not exist. Evidence must be provided proving that this simplest possible default position is wrong. For the default position to be God existing, one would have to prove that God is simpler than nothing; however, even a single scintilla of knowledge would make God more complex than nothing.

There is no need to expand this argument or bring it to the level of the other opening statement since it nullifies the entire other opening statement by default.
There is actully there is proff that God exsists. Think about it is there any other way to explain the existence of man? Did you know that there is no way that science can reproduce the lowest life form in a lab. Well thus there evidence proving of existence of god. Sure I agree there can be no argument without defining the terms however there is more to an argument than just defining the terms. Think about it this way the absolute truth is that God Exsists.
anon: "First off the arugment it self is weak and doesn't provide any factual evidence of the non-exsistence of God."

The second point here - that "the argument... doesn't provide any factual evidence of the non-existence of God" - misconstrues the nature and use of evidence as such. Evidence pertains to what exists, not to what does not exist. One does not need evidence to know that the non-existent does not exist, nor does he need to prove that the non-existent does not exist. Arbitrary claims (such as "God exists") are untrue by their very nature, since they have no reference to objective reality. Furthermore, claims which straddle two opposing metaphysical perspectives, such as the claim "God exists," can confidently be rejected as self-contradictory.

ian: "There is no "factual proof" of the non-existence of God; such proof is not needed."

This is true: We do not need to prove that there's no second moon orbiting earth, or that 100 miles south of Hawaii there's a Disneyland themepark resting on the Pacific Ocean. If these things do not exist, doubters of such claims have no onus of proof.

anon: "There is actully there is proff that God exsists. Think about it is there any other way to explain the existence of man?"

This is simply a recourse to the tired, worn out "god of the gaps" ploy - i.e., an appeal to ignorance, which is as primitive as jungle tribesmen imagining an angry supernatural giant named Blarko inhabiting stormclouds to account for lightning bolts. "What else could be causing the thunder and lightning?" Clog asked Mukja. "Duh, I donno! Must be Blarko done it!" replied Mukja. Was this an informed statement? No, obviously not. Ignorance and emotion are no means of validating claims. You don't do this with your phone bill, why do this with your philosophy?

An excellent start, Ian. The incoherency of the God-concept is so basic most people don't even notice it. Have you read George Smith's book?
George H. Smith does make some excellent points, and I have attempted to use his underlying theme in this argument: namely, a supernatural god is unknowable and therefore cannot exist, because existence entails evidence; but a natural god is knowable and thus bound to the limits of the universe and cannot possibly be called a "God" in any sense of the word (or at least by a Christian or dictionary definition).

this is a diffrent anon, from above..

I think the real problem is the assumptions in the arguement being, 1: that all that is knowable can be proved though "mathematical or scientific (for lack of better words)" means. my personal problem with that is when even the upper echelons of physics, chemistry, engeneering use theroms that have not been produced though proofs, but though a guess and check system some are concienced a "proofs" like system can be applied to an infinite being like God. as if we were to know him by dictonary definitions.
that words like Natural and supernatural where but shadows of the true meaning of the words. for example: when explaining an atom a scientist will give you a picture using things we see in daily life, say, a basketball, baseball, or some other word picture. but most responsible scientists will tell you that this isn't what they believe an atom is, rather it is a shadow of the actual mathematical. now don't take this too far, but i'm convienced this also applies to God, that words we use for him, supernatural, natural, whatever is but a shadow the actual meaning of what we even know of him, not to mention what we don't know of him.

oh and one did/does need evidence to prove a pre-existing therom wrong, as in you do need to evidence to prove the non-existence of God. scince people proving Gods existence has been around for about 8000 years of testimony, while athiests only have about... maybe 200 years if you count some their earlist philosophers who wern't really athiests just people looking for justifcation.
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